Frozen Pipes: What Kind of sewer service you'll need

dreamstime_xxl_34102173If you find yourself with frozen pipes, here are some tips to help you out (and hopefully prevent a water emergency and/or needing a plumber).

1. Make sure your heat is turned up to 75 degrees, open cupboard doors.

2. Turn your main water off 95% of the way if you are at home. If you are away, turn it off completely. (Your main shut off valve will most likely be in your basement or crawlspace.)

3. Leave the affected faucets on to allow water to come through and thaw pipes.

4. If you have a space heater, put it under the affected areas to heat the pipes. (a hair-dryer is an alternation option)

5. If your home has a crawlspace, make sure all vents to the outside are CLOSED.

Special notes: If NONE of the water pipes in your home are producing water,  then your main water line may be the affected pipe, in which case, you will need to contact a plumber. We can perform drain and sewer service that can get your water back up and running

Matt Pastore, CO Master Plumber, Plumbing & Heating Manager, Garvin’s Sewer Service


Realtor Sewer Scope Presentation

garvins_cta3Over a month ago, we were contacted by a Realtor whom we had dome business for, asking us if we would do an educational presentation. I wasn’t sure if we were to expect 6 people or 100, but agreed.
We have seen an increased unethical practice within our industry where homeowners are being told they need a sewer line repair and our second opinion investigations are not showing that to be true. Because of this, not only are homeowners making fear-based, uneducated and expensive decisions to do such repairs, but Realtors are losing their closings (and their clients are potentially losing their dream homes). We wanted to educate Realtors on what a break looks like, how it happens and how to spot those “red flags” of sewer line repair dishonesty. We took a look at some sewer scope video to show how they’re being misread by less scrupulous sewer repair techs.
The seminar had over 5o people in attendance. The presentation went so well — questions were being asked and answered, stories were told of disasters, and of course, the sewer and plumber puns and jokes were flying. All in all, we had a great time and think we really helped some Realtors with their questions. In fact, we later received this brief testimonial from one such Realtor in attendance:
Hi Kris and Mitch,
Thank you, thank you for sharing your services at our Keller William Sales Meeting this past week.  The information you shared was timely and well thought out!  In fact today, Bob [omit] in our office came by asking me if I had your phone number.  I started digging in my files for your number from a sewer scope you did for my son on [omit] Holly and then I remembered I had your magnetic business card in my purse.  Needless to say, you made an impression on Bob who has been in the business for over 30 years.  Way to go!
Thanks again!  Cheryl
Thank you as well Cheryl (and Bob)!
If you are in the Greater Denver area and would like Mitch and I to speak at YOUR Realtor or homeowner’s association meeting, we are happy to do that free of charge. It is an educational meeting and we will need 20-45 min. to speak and answer questions. Contact Kris at (303) 571-5114 to schedule, and visit our facebook page!

Q: To Sewer Scope or Not to Sewer Scope

GarvinsLogo200WaterDear PlumbingGirl,
We had a sewer backup last week and you guys came out and sewer snaked our sewer line and got things working again. The line was not sewer scoped. The person that came out did not know the cause of the line becoming plugged. Would you recommend a video scope to make sure that there are not structural defects in our line such as sags or cracks?
Kevin of Louisville

Hi Kevin,

If the line is now flowing well and you don’t have another back-up within a year, I personally say, don’t worry about using a sewer scope camera on the line. Typically, if a homeowner with normal line use is experiencing back-ups more often than 6-12 months, then I suggest a sewer scope. Some homeowners only require a sewer line cleaning every few years. Some people, just for curiosity or peace of mind, will do a scope anyway. If you choose to do one, the cost is $235 and that includes a DVD.

Thanks for asking!

Love, Charity, Spirit – What Garvin's Sewer Service Does To Help

dreamstime_xxl_7309839Love, Charity and Spirit are words used interchangeably in many cases. It’s my opinion, the commercialism of THIS Christmas Season seems to be replaced with Spirit more than ever. Maybe it is a step back to simpler times as we think about those out of work, foreclosed on, underemployed, etc. Maybe this economy has us appreciating the family, homes and jobs we and our loved ones DO have. Maybe those with things are more empathetic than ever before. Nonetheless, the Christmas Spirit is here and very alive and it is beautiful.

Today, I had the tremendous oppourtunity to sort toys and gifts for the Denver BOMA Toy & Gift Drive. I had to hold back tears as I walked into the sorting room to see thousands of toys, clothing, toiletries, food and gifts. The BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Drive collects gifts from over 100 buildings, asking tenants and staff to give of new and/or slightly used items, which are in turn distributed to several Denver charities. The charities include women’s shelters, the Denver Children’s Home and the Jeffco Action Center.

On Friday, my sister Jennie, attended SMDRA (South Metro Denver Realtors Association), where they also had done a toy drive for Interfaith Communities. She took pictures and shed some tears for the hundreds of toys that were donated. She personally has been a recipient of such giving when she found herself a single mother due to her ex-husbands incarceration.

Humbled by the knowledge that life can change at any minute with someone’s careless acts, the loss of income or even misjudgments of our own, we give. We give because we recognize that we are blessed, regardless of what we have, because of Love, Charity, Spirit, however one chooses to interpret them.

Garvin’s Sewer Service is dedicated to making Denver a better place to live. Let us know how you help our cities on northern Colorado.

Our Declaration for Sewer and drain cleaning service

garvins_sitebg6_cartoonWe have set certain standards of service for our company before, during, and after our sewer and drain cleaning service. These are expectations that we try to set for our customers and our technicians. When we have our customers give feedback, we ask them to think of us in relation to this “Declaration of Service”.

I’d love your feedback on these. I’ve given the shortened version below, but you can see the entire Declaration HERE

  1. We quote our prices over the phone
  2. We give an estimated time of arrival (usually within 2 hours)
  3. You will receive a call when we are on our way
  4. The serviceman will be wearing a Garvin’s logo uniform
  5. The serviceman will use protective gear to keep your home as clean as possible
  6. He will run a “system check”
  7. He will present you with an invoice and a magnet and/or business card

Would you feel comfortable with this as a customer who is asking for someone into your home? What suggestions do you have to improve?


Free your hose or seek sewer service!

dreamstime_l_2667231I’m not being obscene, (not that I put that past myself), but now is the time of year to unscrew your garden hose and store it. It is also time to release any water from your sprinkler system. If you don’t, you may be sorry this winter and/or spring.

Also, if you haven’t already, kick on that heating system and make sure it is working. The last thing you want to deal with is needing heat and not having it.

Holidays are also a particularly busy time for our drain cleaning technicians as the volume of people staying in their homes (as opposed to being out and about) increases, and more people are entertaining in their homes. This increases the volume of things that can clog a drain, and can cause back-ups. This can be very embarrassing and gross, so be ready with contact information for your favorite, handy-dandy drain-cleaning company.

Lastly, if you have a plumber or heating technician to your home, ask them to check your water heater. Cold showers on cold days make for grumpy faces.

Happy Winter Preparation!

Plumbing Girl

Why to hire a professional for water heater install

I recently watched an episode of Myth Busters where they dealt with an issue of a water heater exploding in a house. Water heater replacement isn’t the cheapest home investment, and some homeowners choose the less expensive option of DIY. Although you may be able to get a budget friendly water heater at a home improvement/ hardware store, most plumbing companies won’t warranty parts they don’t supply. Also, unless you purchase the high-end units at those stores, you can expect it to not last as long as the water heaters that the professional plumbers will have access to. And, as you can see in the video, proper installation is critical. We always recommend a professional when it’s time for a new water heater.

DIY Drain Cleaning

drain_cta_revHere at Garvin’s, we like to see a smooth-running drain. And if that means you’re doing your own drain cleaning, so be it!

I recently saw a YouTube video on a new device that is said to help with unclogging secondary lines. By “secondary lines”, I am referring to inside plumbing lines, such as clogged bathtub, clogged kitchen or bathroom sinks. Most of the time, slow running drains are a condition of something being trapped within the first few feet of plumbing (this is the area between the drain and the p-trap, the curvy pipe under the drain.) This particular device is a plastic piece with barbs. You simply feed the piece of plastic into the drain, and the barbs will grab hair and lint or anything else that may be light and in the line.

Other things that I’ve seen like this are spring loaded pipes with wires threaded through that have a little grabbing “hand” on the end. It works much the same way. I agree that for slow running drains with clogs within the first foot, this can be a good option. I always discourage the use of chemical products (such as Drain-O®), and instead highly suggest one of these devices. They can be found for under $10 at a home improvement store.

For stopped, back-uped, or clogged sinks and clogged tubs, I suggest you contact a Professional drain-cleaning company. We have seen homeowners purchase a drain snake and break through pipes or get the snake broken in the line, which ends up costing even more than the cost of hiring us to begin with.

Basically, if you think it is something you can handle by yourself, you could be right. I suggest you call and talk to us and see if it is more than what you bargained for. Our staff is happy to troubleshoot your issue.

Hatcliff Testimonial for Garvin's Sewer Service

dreamstime_xxl_20866752another great testimonial from a client who used our Heating Service:


Just a quick note about the heater “tune-up” I had done today.

George was GREAT! He called about 1/2 hour before arrival to let me know he needed to make a parts run and would be running late… When he did arrive, he was polite and courteous… pulled covers off the funace and explained what he was going to do. When he was finished, he explained to me how the furnace worked, special attention was directed to intricate parts that if not maintained, would result in the unit shutting down. He fabricated a holder to keep the filter in one place and explained the difference between the less expensive filters and higher end ones and his recommendation. George installed the CO2 dectector for me. Before he left, he made sure I didn’t have any other questions or concerns.

I am thoroughly satisfied with the service I recieved today. I have marked my calendar to call next spring for AC tune-up. You can rest assured that Garvin’s has a new client!

Mr. Hatcliff, Arvada

Thanks! If YOU or someone you know is experiencing a COLD spell, whether furnace, thermostat or water heater, give Garvin’s a call. Trusted, honest family owned company serving Greater Denver since 1940! 303-571-5114 24/7/365

Furnace Special from Garvin’s Sewer Service

dreamstime_xxl_36762895Don’t sleep in the cold, call Garvin’s TODAY to keep your winter nights WARM. 303-571-5114

Garvin’s Sewer Service is so much more than just…well, sewer service! Clean and tune any furnace and get ready for winter.

Price to include the following:

1. Clean return air compartment and indoor blower motor, adjust any belts where applicable and oil any parts
2. Replace filters
3. Check for carbon monoxide levels on heat
4. Adjust ported burners
5. Clean flame sensors and pressure switch ports
6. Install battery operated carbon monoxide detector*
7. Check for proper operation

Pre-Winter Special: $150 (This is NOT available after Oct.15th, 2010)

On systems with central air conditioning, for a nominal additional fee, we will clean air conditioning “A” coil, which is recommended for more efficient operation of furnace


Call now to set appointment before Oct. 15th.

Don’t sleep in the cold, call Garvin’s TODAY to keep your winter nights WARM. 303-571-5114