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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Usually drains are clogged because people are not careful of what they put in them, especially in the kitchen. Other drains, like in the bathroom, get clogged because of the oil residue from soaps, shampoos and hair. It is recommended that you are conscious of what you put down your drains and treat them regularly with a drain cleaner such as Bio-Clean. Click Here for more information on Bio-Clean.

Usually when a faucet is dripping the problem has a relatively simple solution. The internal mechanisms need to be rebuilt or replaced. This is an easy and inexpensive fix. Did you know that you could extend the life of your washers by turning off your faucets gently rather than forcefully?

Take the time every once and a while to inspect your pipes. If rust or lime is depositing on them, this may indicate a leak is starting. If this is happening, contact Gary’s to address the problem. By performing an occasional inspection you could stop a small problem before it turns into a large and expensive one. Leaking pipes can damage floors and belongings and become much more costly than if the problem was detected early.

You should call Gary’s right away. Leaking water heaters usually indicate the bottom of the tank has rusted. There are really no good repairs for this problem. You most likely need a new water heater.

This is not only an annoyance but also a waste of water and money. Leaky toilets can cost almost $100 extra per year on your water bills. If the toilet continues to run into the bowl after the toilet is flushed, it indicates that some part of the mechanism is out of order. Sometimes a little jiggling of the flush valve mechanism solves the problem. Otherwise you may need to replace the entire mechanism. Contact Gary’s to diagnose the problem.

Yes!  You may not know everything that a plumber does.  A plumber is a highly skilled technician who installs and repairs pipes and plumbing related fixtures, diagnose clogged drain problems and solves all problems related to water systems in your home.

Our dedication to continued training and education in the latest plumbing techniques and tools to do better work for our customers.  Our plumbers not only receive technical training but we are the undisputed leaders in customer service training.  This means you are guaranteed a courteous, professional and friendly plumber at your door, every time!

Many homeowners are very capable of handling these kinds of jobs by themselves.  Some of the bigger home centers even show you how. However, our experience has shown that some projects are better left to the professionals.  Yes, we’ve gotten more than a few calls from customers ‘stuck’ in the middle of a project.  Gary’s Plumbing and Heating provides quality installation and upgrades of sinks, toilets, laundry tubs, laundry hook ups, bath tubs, whirlpool tubs, showers, all kinds of faucets, garbage disposals and more.  Many of our customers have also discovered that we are the skilled technicians in bath and kitchen remodeling.  So, if you have a sink and a faucet to replace or an entire kitchen, your first call should be to Gary’s Plumbing and Heating.

Most of the time when you hear a banging faucet it is actually a defective washer allowing the water increased water pressure through the pipes.  For the homeowner, sometimes these are easy to fix, sometimes not.  Rest assured, it is an easy fix for Gary’s plumbers.

Instant Hot Water is a hot water recirculation system that circulates hot water in your home.   When you open a fixture the warm water is there. There is no need to run water down the drain waiting for hot water to arrive.  Did you know that hot water recirculation systems save water, energy and money; the average family of four wastes up to 17,000 gallons of water per year just waiting for hot water to arrive.

A hot water recirculation system eliminates waste and provides the convenience of instant hot water. They work in existing homes, too!  The under-the-sink retrofit systems are designed for existing homes.  We can easily adapt a system to your existing plumbing.

You may be able to insert an Allen wrench into the bottom of the disposer and "crank" it to help free up a jam. If this doesn’t work, DON’T USE IT!  You could cause serious damage to the disposal motor or even your home electrical system.  We can usually fix a jammed up garbage disposal.  If we can’t, then the unit will probably need to be replaced.  Our expert technicians can give you the best advice and make quick work of it to get you grinding again!

Not all the time! The leading cause for sump pump to failure is usually a switching problem. Sometimes the pump can move inside the basin. This movement causes the float that operates the switch to lodge against its side. Debris can also be a factor by interfering with the action of the pump switch. It is important to make sure that your pump switch and float arm assembly move freely. The main thing to remember about sump pumps is that they don’t last forever . . . even if you never use them.

Internal parts wear out and make them virtually useless when you need them most! Our plumbers can test, maintain or replace any brand of sump pump. For flood prone areas and homes that get water seeping in on a regular basis you may want to consider a sump pump back up system. There are non-electric systems that work off the water pressure in your home and therefore will work in the case of a power failure; we also carry battery backup sump pumps as well. Call Gary’s Plumbing and Heating located in Bellingham, WA for more information.

There are several things that could cause low water pressure, including a partially closed or malfunctioning shut off valve, a crimped water line, or deposits that gather in older galvanized pipes. If your neighbors have strong water pressure, the problem is most likely between the water meter and your home. A highly trained Gary’s plumber will be able to identify the problem and explain your options.

Yes.  In fact, the difference can be damaging to your home and your body.  Maybe you have experienced damaged clothing from the laundry, excessive soap consumption, pipe scaling, faucet and fixture deterioration, skin problems, or undesirable tastes or odors from your water.  If you have, then you have a water problem.  Gary’s can install a soft water system in your home that will not only provide you with soft water for cleaning and bathing, but also solve your problem drinking and cooking water issues.  You will feel and taste the difference!

Yes.  In fact, the difference can be damaging to your home and your body.  Maybe you have experienced damaged clothing from the laundry, excessive soap consumption, pipe scaling, faucet and fixture deterioration, skin problems, or undesirable tastes or odors from your water.  If you have, then you have a water problem.  Gary’s can install a soft water system in your home that will not only provide you with soft water for cleaning and bathing, but also solve your problem drinking and cooking water issues.  You will feel and taste the difference!

Conventional water heaters are by far the most common type of water heater in the U.S. today. They range in size from 20 to 80 gallons (or larger) and are fueled by electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil.  Called ‘storage’ units, these water heaters transfer heat from a burner or coil to water in an insulated tank.   The down side to a conventional water heater is that energy is consumed even when no hot water is being used.

Tankless water heaters do not contain a storage tank like conventional water heaters. A gas burner or electric element heats the water only when there is a demand for hot water.

There are many things to consider when choosing conventional vs. tankless water heating systems. A Gary’s water conditioning specialists can guide you through your options and get the right system for home that will give years of service and efficient performance.

Dishwashers are to leave some water in the bottom of the unit at the end of each cycle. This is to keep the heating element from burning up. However, if the dishwasher does not empty at all, you’ve got a problem.

A Gary’s plumber can determine if it is a clogged drain line, faulty motor or an electronic issue. Dishwashers are fickle machines and can be very hard to work on. We can help you determine the best course of action.

Yes!  All you have to do is put a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank. Wait a few minutes and then look in the toilet bowl.  If you see that your bowl has the same color, then you’ve got a leak!  The scary part is you are probably wasting hundreds of gallons of water each month!  Call Gary’s Plumbing and Heating.  We can install a low-flow toilet that will not only save you water dollars but will flush better than anything you have ever had in the past!

If you have more plumbing questions or to schedule a plumber in Bellingham, Sudden Valley, Ferndale, and all of Whatcom County, call us at 360-734-9700.

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