Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bellingham Copper Pipes

We are replacing a water service (pipe from the meter to the house, when I discovered this piece of art.

I call it the DIY Experience:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Forgot the pipe wrench

Look closely at the rust colored thing in the picture. That's a pipe wrench that was left when they installed the water meter 10 years ago. All that water in the hole is normal ground water.

If water can rust out a pipe wrench that badly, imagine what water does to pipes in the ground.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sewer Roots

Ball Plumbing does drain and sewer cleaning, too.

The picture below is in a Mt. Vernon, WA basement. They had water coming up a floor drain when they ran water anywhere in the house.

I ran the sewer machine through the stack clean out  to 120 feet. In that part of Mt Vernon, the house sewers can go across alleys, down sidewalks, across neighbors' yards and tie into a storm drain. I'm not kidding.

I was able to clear the sewer stoppage for them for under $425.00 (including tax) on a Saturday afternoon. Cheap at half the price, huh.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sewer Replacement

This is the one that had the metal eletrical ground put through the pipe 20 years ago and not one plumber caught the problem until I did four years ago. I replace that short section of sewer pipe, but the rest of the sewer pipe was 70 years old and falling apart.

The owner finally had us replace it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kitchen Faucet

When the phone rings before 8:00 a.m., I know there's a problem.

This customer's husband really tried to repair the 25 year old faucet, but it died.

Before and after photos:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More pics of water service in Alger, WA

When I first looked at this job, it was raining, so the issue of ground water wasn't. But it was, big time.  We had to build a dam and use a pump in order to reconnect to the water meter. Sounds easy, but it ate up the man hours. The ground itself was more rock than dirt, too. It took a crew of three over 20 hours (60 hours total) to get it done, but it got done.

The old water service (the pipe from the water meter to the house) was a patch work of pvc, poly, copper, galvanized steel, and brass ranging in size from 1/2" to 1-1/2"  in diameter. Now it's all one kind and size from the meter to under the house.

There are some very happy tenants in Alger, Washington.

Friday, April 5, 2013

New wax ring?

A common job for us is replacing the wax ring under the toilet. Quoting a price is always tricky because of rude surprises like this one.

That ring of rust is what the toilet is bolted onto. Over a few years, if the wax ring is bad, water will eat through the metal causing all sorts of problems like rotting floors and rocking toilets.

We replaced that closet flange (under $500.00) and reset the other toilets with new wax rings. The other toilets' closet flanges were fine.

Ball Plumbing rotten closet flange

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Plumber's Backyard

Sometimes even plumbers get sick of plumbing. This picture is my backyard in Bellingham, Washington, Geneva neighborhood.

My neighbors describe my place as "native lawn", "early hillbilly rustic", or "that contractor's house". I try to tell them that if someone would pay me to fix it up, it'd be done in a heartbeat. Nobody has stepped up with the dough, though.

As soon as business picks up enough, I'm tearing it down and building a modest home. In the meantime, my acre is a haven for native plants and wildlife.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sewage ejector Blaine, Wa

Here's something most people will never experience.

This house has a pump that ejects the sewage up the hill to the county sewer. The pipe shook loose and filled the pit that's located in the front yard. Next to the front door. 

Sometimes, this job can never pay enough...