Monday, August 4, 2014

Bellingham Bathroom Remodel

This is in a condo in downtown Bellingham. Our customer is slowly remodeling the entire place.

I didn't picked out the fixtures; I have a hard time finding matching socks. The set-up is as elegant as it looks.

Bellingham bathroom sink drain

Bellingham Bathroom sink

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kitchen Faucet Replacement

This is in one of the newer and pricier neighborhoods in Whatcom County. The mansion is less than 5 years old and used as a retreat from the owner's job.

As is common here, the builder got the plumbing fixtures (faucets, toilets, etc) from some discount store. The property manager called Ball Plumbing about the leaking faucet and general sadness of the set up.

The plumber took everything out and started over. Plumber kept it really simple with a Delta faucet with pull out hose and a new air gap for the dishwasher. Gone is the under-counter water filter that was never cleaned and the insta-hot that was never used.

Before Kitchen sink faucet

After kitchen sink faucet

Friday, July 25, 2014

Broken toilet in Bellingham

Ball Plumbing gets a lot of calls for toilets that are leaking from the bottom.  Sometimes, the toilet leak is from the top, but the water runs down, around and across before it falls to the floor. The picture below is a little obvious, but it shows that toilet tanks do crack for whatever reason.

broken toilet in the Numbered Streets 'hood of Bellingham.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bellingham Chamber of Commerce

Ball Plumbing is back at the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce! We took some time off during the Great Not-A-Recession Depression, but things are looking different now, so time to get involved again.

Ball Plumbing hosted the Chamber's radio show for a number of years and hopefully we will be able to do it again.

Bellingham Chamber Page

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bellingham Water Heaters

water heater expansion tank and circulation pump
This work of art is seven years old. It is looking and acting a lot older, though.

The unit of the right sprung on Sunday afternoon and I bypassed it to get the house hot water. There are a few major code and common sense violations in the current set up, so we're looking at different options for replacing the system. Quite a mess.

Bellingham water heaters

Friday, June 27, 2014

Another Bellingham sewer clean out

This sewer clean out was a little more manageable than the 15' deep one we did last month.

A good sewer clean out is installed as close to the house as possible, which some plumber did back in 1989. Where he went wrong was to install it 12" below ground level and then put the stairs back over it.

I found the old clean out after selling the new homeowner on installing a clean out in order to clear the whole house sewer stoppage. Turns out the stoppage was at the joint the other plumber installed for his clean out.

All is good now. I did use the old clean out to clear the stoppage and installed the new clean out above ground level in front of the steps.

Got eaten alive by mosquitoes, too. I got 12 huge bumps on my arms from the li'l vampires.

Monday, June 23, 2014

What's in your faucet?

The plumber has a low water pressure call, okay? After checking all the usual suspects, he unscrewed the faucet screen and found this:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sewer Clean Out Bellingham, Wa

Anyone who has had the a sewer stoppage has heard the question, "Do you have a clean out?"

This is a sewer clean out Ball Plumbing installed recently. Yes, it's 15' deep!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ball Plumbing's website is getting better

Yikes! I didn't know the website was that screwed up! Most of the mobile function was gone along with most of the pages.

Good thing all you need is a phone to call a plumber: 360-647-2255 or 360-757-4455 will get us there pronto.

Sorry for the inconvenience of a terrible website....

(To be fair, some of it was a certain 3rd party installation, but I sure can't throw stones. Anybody who works with their hands--or in customer service--should have a hard time throwing stones.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ball Watches

There are other companies called Ball like the Ball Watch Company, for example.

This watch is about average for their offering at just under $4k. That's a lot of

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I got tired of the ridicule about the "baby poop brown" colors, the dead links, and the references to 1995 design.

I found and destroyed most of the "baby poop brown" except for a few locations where the color code was hidden by original coder.

I put the prices on their own page ( and added a Specials page (

Nothing fancy, but better that it was this morning.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Installed a customer-supplied kitchen faucet

She calls us from Lowes, while waiting in line to purchase a cheapo Moen kitchen faucet. That wasn't the problem, though.

The problem was what a local plumbing company did to her before she found Ball Plumbing. They quoted pre-tax $479.00 installed for a similar faucet or $279.00, if she bought the faucet. When she balked, they charged her $49.00 call out charge.

I installed her kitchen faucet for the one hour minimum of $132.00, pre-tax. Took 40 minutes.

So, her cost was roughly $250.00 using our plumbing service and buying her own cheapo faucet. She saved $229.00 off the top. Well, add in the $49.00 service charge and it's lowered to $180.00, but that's still a savings.

If she would have bought our really nice stock model Delta kitchen faucet, her cost would have been pre-tax $375.00 for a really nice kitchen faucet. But, that's still $125.00 more than she wanted to spend in her Roosevelt neighborhood home.

Ball Plumbing charges $132.00 for the first hour, which includes travel and one hour of labor.

For each additional 15 minutes, it costs $22.00.

Really, it's cheap at half the price.......yuck yuck.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sewer Stoppage Charge

How much does it cost to unclog a sewer stoppage?

In 2010: $254.73 (Using the 2010 price book)
In 2014: $245.21 (Using the new hourly rate, as outlined below)

The drain stoppage I did yesterday took 90 minutes from arrival to getting paid. I had to search for the sewer access and then I ran the snake twice the full 100' to the city sewer.

That doesn't include the 5 minutes taking/processing the job order or the 20 minutes to drive there. Those costs are included in the first hour.

Plumber labor break down: $132.00/first hour. $44.00 for additional 30 minutes ($22.00/per 15 minutes) = $176.00

Equipment charge: $50.00 (The big sewer machine)

Tax: $19.21

Total: $245.21

That was for nearly 2 hours (if you include travel), plus equipment. It would have been faster if I didn't have to spend all that time searching for the sewer clean out. Plus, I had to clear the utility closet out to access the sewer clean out.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Pricing

Actually, not new pricing, but different wording. The prices will stay the same this year.

This is how we charge:

First hour (includes travel, truck charge, etc): $132.00/ first hour.
Additional time will be charged every 15 minutes: $22.00/ per 15 minutes.

Helpers: $44.00/ first hour and $11.00/15 minutes thereafter.

Equipment and  parts will be marked up above our cost (not yours---yuck yuck). I did a price check and we're below Lowes prices on most things with far better quality.

Here's to a New Year in the U.S.A.!

Go 'Hawks Go.......................