Friday, January 12, 2018

Water Meters

Had a  phone call from a homeowner who objected to having had to call Bellingham Public Works to shut off his water at his meter. He explained to me that he should be able to shut off his water at his meter any time he wants because it's his water and his water meter.

While meters are new to Bellingham, they aren't new to the rest of the county or even the nation. Go 1" outside of City of Bellingham boundaries and everyone has a water meter. So therefore, like our beloved Traffic Guy, I'll explain the oh-so-obvious facts.

1. It ain't your water meter. The meter belongs to the company/agency/city that sells you water.

2. Since it ain't your water meter, you can't touch it. If you do and it breaks, you're in a World of Hurt. There are fines and much ridicule for breaking their meters. The reason for this seemingly fascist law is that the water meter is attached to the infrastructure that serves everyone else. Again, it ain't your meter.

3. You buy the water only after it passes through the meter. Everything after the meter, is yours: pipes, water, usage, everything.

I did install a water shut off under that caller's house for under $500.00.

Bellingham Wa water meter

Bellingham Wa water meter

Friday, December 1, 2017

New Ball Plumbing Plumbing Truck!

Not really, but if I could afford a new one, I'd get this one:

Here's a picture of a hidden crack in Bellingham. Looks like a stress break, but who knows:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bellingham Water Pressure Regulator Valve: PRV

So what does a water pressure regulator valve (PRV) look like and where does it go? The valve is put on the main water line before any fixture or hose bib and it's usually located under the building. It's usually all brass, but there's a plastic and brass model that's more common in our little slice of heaven.

I use a double union model (pictured) because it's easier to replace; should only take 5 minutes to do the actual replacement with the same model. Shutting down the water, setting up and crawling to the valve takes some time.

New installs can take up to two hours depending on the job.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Bellingham Water Pressure

Update to a post of a few days ago. I added a water pressure regulator to this building's incoming service. The new pressure is at 70 psi from 140 psi.

Any pressure above 80 psi has to be regulated. It's an international code to save water. With most of Bellingham on metered water now, the difference in your billed usage between 140 psi and 60 psi is considerable.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

P-Traps in Bellingham

Or lack, thereof.

A p-trap prevents sewer gas from entering your house. It looks pretty simple, but it's engineered to work in conjunction with air (vent) and gravity (Sir Isaac Newton). Many DIYers scoff at the science of drainage, as the first picture shows a shower without a p-trap. The second picture is Ball Plumbing's contribution to the science of drains: Drainology.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Bellingham Plumber water pressure

Another holiday season in Bellingham, WA. with freaky weather and everything!

Plumbing problems don't care about the weather, though. This picture is from a house in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Bellingham. I've been trying to replace the water service (meter to house) for a week using the national weather forecasts. Good luck to them....

When I replace the service, the pressure regulator gets replaced. In this house built in the '70s, there hasn't been a regulator ever.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bellingham plumber snowed in!

The tom cat was raising heck last night and I responded with the usual empty threat. Empty because it's already neutered.  Its whole complaint was about the 5 inches of snow, which is a very valid complaint.

It's going to be a rough winter. Prepare now by reading the last blog on 10/31/2017.