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    Ways to Spot a Toilet Leak

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Your home’s toilets may be responsible for up to 27% of your home’s total water usage. If any of your toilets are leaking, that percentage could go up significantly.

    While some toilet leaks make a distinct sound, others are completely silent. In this video from the Regional Water Providers Consortium, a water conservation expert demonstrates how to check for a toilet leak. All you have to do is drop a dye tablet into the tank and come back 10 to 15 minutes later. If the colored water appears in the bowl, you have a toilet leak.

    If you’ve recently discovered that your toilet is leaking, let O’Neill Plumbing fix it for you. Our expert plumbers have been helping Seattle residents save money and water since 1917. Call (206) 973-3582 to schedule a house call or learn more about our services.  

    What You Need to Know About Low-Flow Toilets

    Last updated 1 year ago

    It’s hard for modern homeowners to imagine life without toilets. Instead of chamber pots and outhouses, virtually every house in the U.S. has a flushing toilet that quickly and discreetly removes waste. Though some may consider a flushing toilet to be a modern marvel, developers of today’s toilets are doing whatever they can to further reduce the water in each flush. Read on if you’d like to learn more about low-flow toilets.  

    Low-Flow Forerunners

    The path to the modern low-flow toilet is long and lined with unsuccessful attempts. The first flush toilet was invented by Englishman Joseph Adamson in 1853. This toilet, like modern toilets, relied on a siphon to keep the sewer gases from entering the home. In 1915, the development of a narrower pathway allowed for a smaller tank to be installed on the back of the bowl, as opposed to far above. Low-flow toilets first came on the scene in 1994, but they sometimes required two flushes, thus defeating the purpose of “low-flow.”  

    Essential Components

    Low-flow toilets have the same basic components as regular toilets, but with a few notable differences. Once the user pushes the lever of a normal toilet, the lift chain pulls the flapper and water from the tank rushes into the bowl, triggering the siphoning effect. Low-flow toilets work the same way, only the chain float closes the flapper sooner, limiting the flush to only 1.6 gallons.  

    Water-Saving Potential

    Before 1982, toilets regularly used 5-7 gallons per flush. Between 1983 and 1993, about 3.5 gallons were the norm. By installing a low-flow toilet, you can reduce your toilet’s water consumption by half. Assuming you flush the toilet three times daily, you can save over 2,000 gallons of water in a year.

    If one of the toilets in your Seattle home is over 20 years old, contact the expert plumbers of O’Neill Plumbing. One of our skilled plumbers will gladly discuss low-flow toilets with you, and if you’re interested, install one for you. Call us at (206) 973-3582 to speak with one of our plumbers today.

    A Look at the Common Problems that May Develop with Your Garbage Disposal

    Last updated 1 year ago

    The garbage disposal is one of the most important appliances in the house. It’s important to be familiar with common disposal problems so that you can save time when your local plumbing company arrives to fix yours. Here are some of the most commonly encountered garbage disposal problems:

    Stuck Flywheel

    If you turn on your garbage disposal and hear a humming noise, you may have a stuck flywheel. The flywheel is a metal plate to which the blades are mounted. When you turn on your disposal, the plate spins rapidly to grind up food. At times, however, food particles can get caught in the space between it or the impellers and the shredder ring. You can keep this from happening by not putting any tough or fibrous foods in your garbage disposal.

    Leaks

    Leaks can occur in a number of places in a garbage disposal, such as the dishwasher connection, the sink flange, the discharge pipe, or the disposal itself. These leaks can result from any number of causes. One common cause of leaks is a faulty or improperly installed sealing ring, which may need to be replaced completely. The leak may also be a result of old age, given that the interior shells of garbage disposals tend to crack as they get older.

    Clogs

    If your sink is draining slowly or not at all, it could be a sign of a clog somewhere in the disposal. This all-too-common problem is often caused by people trying to grind up waste products that disposals cannot handle, such as corn silk, potato peels, and even cigarette butts. Restricting what you and your family put down the disposal can help keep you from ever having to deal with this problem.

    If you ever experience any of these problems with your garbage disposal, trust the experts at O’Neill Plumbing of Seattle to help you. Our friendly professionals have been servicing residents of the Seattle area since 1917. Call us at (206) 973-3582 to report any of your plumbing problems.

    Understanding How Much a Leaky Faucet Can Cost You

    Last updated 1 year ago

    A faucet leak may not seem like much cause for concern, but this is a problem that can easily escalate. The environmental and financial impacts of faucet leaks are a major cause for concern. Here is a look at why this is so:

    Environmental Costs

    Water is one of Earth’s most precious resources, and faucet leaks waste thousands of gallons of it every year. In fact, statistics show that a faucet that leaks at just one drip per second can waste 3,000 gallons of water per year. To put this in perspective, 3,000 gallons is enough water to flush an energy-efficient toilet for six months–or sustain 10 human beings for a year. When you consider the number of faucets in the average home, it becomes much easier to see how easily wasted water can accumulate.

    Health Costs

    When water from leaky faucets pools up in sinks, it becomes a perfect place for mold to grow. Mold is a type of fungus that can release spores into the air as it grows. The spores are known to cause a plethora of illnesses to those unfortunate enough to breathe it into their lungs. Some specific examples include allergic reactions, asthma, wheezing, skin irritations, lung infections, and pneumonia. In addition, pooled water from leaks can attract flies, gnats, and mosquitoes, all of which carry their own diseases and dangers.

    Restoration Costs

    If your undetected leak sprouts mold, the costs of getting rid of it could be significant. Removing extensive mold may require hiring a professional to ensure that it is cleaned in such a way that does not trigger the release of more spores, and this usually comes with a hefty price tag. Similarly, an influx of certain insect may require the services of an exterminator.

    If your faucet ever springs a leak, O’Neill Plumbing of Seattle is here to help! We also repair sewer lines, water heaters, sump pumps, and other water-using devices around your home. Call us at (206) 973-3582 for your free estimate.

    What Are the Benefits of In-Line Sewer Cameras and Electronic Pipe Locating?

    Last updated 1 year ago

    For many years, the general means of diagnosing sewer problems involved digging up the earth around a stretch of pipe and performing a visual inspection. Today, in-line sewer cameras and electronic pipe locating have streamlined this process, and made it much faster, more affordable, and easier than open-trench diagnostics. The latter method involves digging a deep trench to access the damaged pipe. This often requires heavy earthmoving equipment, a full crew of workers, and up to several days to complete, depending on the conditions. In-line sewer cameras require nothing more than a small, barely-noticeable hole to gain access to the pipe, and once the leak has been found, it is electronically marked to eliminate any costly downtime during future repairs.

    O’Neill Plumbing is proud to offer quality in-line video sewer cameras and electronic pipe locating services to its clients. To set up an appointment, call us at (206) 973-3582 today.

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