Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running

An overlooked aspect of healthy plumbing and drains is your garbage disposal. When food and other miscellaneous items don’t pass through a garbage disposal properly, the entirety of your kitchen sink plumbing can go down the drain pretty quickly (we’re sorry). We have some tips to help you keep your garbage disposal in running order. garbage-disposal

Use Cold Water When Running the Disposal

Cold water, not hot, will help you when using your garbage disposal. Hot water has several negative effects on a disposal, which includes the potential of overheating or allowing things like grease to continue to spread throughout the inside of your disposal. Instead, cold water will help food items remain in a solid state so it can be broken up by the blades with minimal resistance.

Avoid Fibrous Foods

Corn husks, banana peels, celery and other fibrous foods are the things you should avoid putting down the drain. When these and similar stringy foods are placed in your disposal, they are shredded and instead of being pushed through, they wrap around the blades. This buildup will also cause the line to become clogged and make your drain nearly useless.

Use Ice Cubes to Sharpen the Blades

Just like a knife, the blades in your garbage disposal need to stay sharp in order to remain effective. There are numerous solutions for this out there, such using egg shells. However, the inner membrane of the egg shell can cause the same problem of wrapping around the blades as things like corn husks and other fibrous foods. Instead, grinding ice cubes and even a bit of rock salt in your disposal will help sharpen the edges and, because the ice will melt, there is no fear of it clogging the line and becoming counterproductive.

Unfortunately, you can’t always prevent drain clogging, garbage disposal issues, and other plumbing problems in your home. If these things do arise, Garvin’s Sewer Service is here to help you with 75 years of plumbing and sewer expertise. Give us a call or fill out our free quote form today!

Just Say No to Drano!

dreamstime_xxl_45757549When you experience a clog in your toilet or drain, how likely are you to reach for Drano, Liquid Plumr, or another chemical clog remover? Are you sure that’s a good idea?  Plumbers strongly recommend against using chemical drain clog removers, and it’s not just because it helps their business. Let’s explore the reasons to stay away from chemical drain cleaners.

It can make your toilet explode!

Yes, you read that correctly! Chemical drain cleaners do not mix well with porcelain, and the chemicals heat up while in the toilet bowl. The porcelain can either be cracked by the chemicals, or the combination of chemicals and porcelain could actually explode! Can you imagine the damage caused to your bathroom by a clogged toilet explosion? Don’t do it!

It eats away at your pipes

Although chemical drain cleaners can effectively remove some clogs, they can eat away at your pipes as well, especially if you use them frequently. Frequent use of chemical drain cleaners leads to the chemicals sitting in your plastic and metal piping systems, slowly corroding them away. Our professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service recommend cleaning your sewer line once a year to prevent frequent drain clogs.

The chemicals are dangerous for children and pets

The same chemicals that eat away at drain clogs can also harm your children and pets. Often, one of the main ingredients in chemical drain cleaners is lye, a caustic and toxic substance. Lye can cause severe burns when it comes into contact with your skin, and it could kill animals and people alike if they drink it. Also, chemical drain cleaners can release poisonous chemical gases when mixed with other cleaners, which could be fatal.

It’s Harmful to the Environment

Not only is lye harmful to humans and pets, it’s harmful for the ecosystem as well. When you pour chemical drain clog removers down the drain, they eventually release back into the environment.  Lye changes the pH of water bodies and can cause tissue damage in wildlife.  Exploring safe alternatives to Drano will positively impact the environment that you live in.

Chemical drain clog removers could potentially remove that nasty clog from your drain, but they have many very severe consequences. Wouldn’t you rather remove clogs safely with our trusted professional plumbers who have experience in drain cleaning in Denver? If you live in the greater Denver area, call Garvin’s Sewer Service today, so that we can do the dirty work for you!  Our testimonials speak for themselves!

Make Use of Grease and Cooking Oil and You Won’t Need Sewer Drain Cleaning Quite So Soon

dreamstime_xxl_15189984If you’ve been reading the Garvin’s Sewer Service Clog Blog for any amount of time, you know our disgust for grease. After all, grease that heads down the kitchen sink is one of the main reasons that people need sewer drain cleaning sooner than they normally would. (The oil that some people pour down their toilets during turkey fryer season doesn’t help things, either.)

While grease is obviously a pain for homeowners, you might think that we love grease. After all, grease gets us into people’s home for drain cleaning, and that makes us more money. But we’re not that kind of sewer service. While we’ll be your emergency plumber, we’re also your neighbors and have been for more than 75 years; we’re much more interested in helping you prevent those problems that we can and being there for you in your time of need for unpreventable problems.

But let’s get back to grease. If you’re not sending grease and oil down your drain, what are you doing with it? We’ve given some ideas before, such as waiting for it to cool in the pan and then wiping it off with a paper towel and into the trash. But there are so many uses for grease and oil — some you can do in the home, some industrial — that you might want to reconsider before throwing it away.

Cook With It

The simplest and most common use for kitchen grease is to cook with it. People have been cooking with grease for thousands of years, making foods tastier and finding a use for something that otherwise would have been thrown out.

The downside to cooking with grease is pretty obvious, though…health issues. There are good oils and there are bad oils, and grease is one of those bad oils that will clog up your arteries (and no, your local plumber can’t clean out your arteries with a sewer jetter like we can with your drain pipes). So while lard might liven up those deep-fried french fries every so often, it’s best to not cook with it much.

Recycle It

garvins 2One good thing to do with grease is to recycle it. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy a pouring it into your recycling bin (we repeat: do not do this!). In Boulder county you can drop off grease and cooking oil at the Eco-Cycle Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials at 6400 Arapahoe Rd. (303-444-6634). After Thanksgiving there are often cooking oil drop off locations around Denver.

What About Restaurants?

Restaurants use a lot of cooking oil, and it usually ends up in one of two places. The yellow grease is mostly oil and is captured before it heads down the drains. Grease and oil that does make it into the drain pipes is captured by grease traps, rots, and becomes brown grease. Brown grease is almost always headed directly to the landfill. Yellow grease, on the other hand…

What’s It Made Into?

Depending on the demand, restaurants can pay to have yellow grease taken away or have a company pay them for it. Back when diesel fuel prices were getting to be around $4.00 a gallon, the yellow grease was very valuable because of people making it into biodiesel and driving their cars on it. While that demand has leveled off somewhat, yellow grease is still commonly used in the production of rubber, detergents. soap, and makeup. It is also used to feed livestock.

Grease has many uses, and the last thing you want is to have it clogging up your pipes and causing a demand for premature drain cleaning. Still, no matter how vigilant you are with preventing oils and grease from going down the drain, there will always be a buildup over the years that causes you to call your local plumber. When that time comes, Garvin’s will be there!

Flush the Idea of Flushing any of This

Or: How to See Your Local Plumber Much More Often than Desired

dreamstime_9956210As homeowners ourselves, we have to admit that we’ve made our fair share of home care and maintenance mistakes. That application of weed killer that effectively killed our lawn along with the dandelions; that well-meaning attempt at tree trimming that cost us our front bay window; and of course, that one time, where we …. well never mind.

So it is with the best intentions that we want to alert people to a common mistake that most homeowners make: flushing household products that should never be flushed. We understand how it happens. It says right there on that package of personal wipes that they’re “flushable”, which for all intents and purposes is the truth. Somewhat. Ya see, technically they are flushable. They will flush. They just can’t move through the underground pipes effectively and won’t break down in water in the same way that toilet paper does. Over time, these baby wipes will clog your pipes, backup your systems and cost you a pretty penny. So, if you are a big fan of these wipes, throw them out, don’t flush them.

And while we’re on our plumbing maintenance soap box, never flush these following items either:

  • paper towels
  • diapers
  • cigarettes
  • medications
  • kitty litter
  • condoms
  • first aid gauze or bandages 
  • cosmetics
  • feminine hygiene products

Basically, the rule of thumb for flushing is that if it’s not pee, poo or paper (the type for toilets), it doesn’t belong in your toilet. So save yourself the cost and frustration of another visit from your plumber and remember to treat your toilet with the care it deserves.

For everything from basic plumbing issues like clogged drains, to more complicated plumbing needs, call the team at Garvin’s Sewer Service Inc. We’re not Denver’s favorite plumbers for nothing.

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April 25th: National Plumber’s Day!


dreamstime_7666152Here’s a fun website for you: It’s, and it catalogues all of the weird “National Whatever Days” you might have heard about. Did you know that June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day? Or that September 21st is National Pecan Cookie Day?

Well, we’d like to welcome you to April 25th, National Plumber’s Day! It’s a day to say thank you to any plumber you meet, or to send flowers to your local water service expert.

Is having plumbers around really that important? Oh yes!

We’re There When You Need Us

Many plumbing calls we get are emergency situations. Now that doesn’t always mean that people are up to their knees in sewage, but when your toilet won’t flush…well, what would you call it other than an emergency? Plumbers are quick to help whether you’ve lost access to water coming in or when the water won’t leave your house (even when you nicely ask it to leave).

We Keep People Healthy

Did you know that thousands of people across the world die every day because they don’t have access to clean, safe water? And do you know why so much of that water is polluted? With ⅓ of the planet’s populations not having access to a toilet, much of the sickness is coming from tainted water supplies. It’s something that most people don’t think about in the United States, and you’ve got a plumber to thank (on April 25th and beyond) for helping to keep you and your family healthy.

Never take a plumber for granted! Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service we’ll take care of you when you need drain cleaning and sewer cleaning. Happy National Plumber’s Day, everyone!




The Basics Of Becoming a Plumber


The pipes a drain company needs to deal with.Have you ever wondered what kind of training occurs for someone who wishes to become a plumber? For those who have the inclination, it’s actually a great career path. Here are the basics of how to become a plumber.

Make sure you have a GED or High School Diploma

It’s should come as no surprise that plumbing and sewer cleaning contain a lot of science. It’s important to have a solid knowledge of math (geometry and algebra) and science (basic physics, and in the case of sewer cleaning, gravity!).

Vocational Training

High school won’t teach you everything you need to know about plumbing and sewer repair. Find a local trade school or community college that offers classes in plumbing. You’ll learn all about piping for both whitewater and blackwater and how to deal with the installation and problems associated with each.

Apprenticeship program

In most cases, prospective plumbers participate in an apprenticeship program that lasts for a few years. During this time you’ll be making money and learning about the trade in real-world drain cleaning and rooter service. One of the best ways to find an apprenticeship program is to contact a local plumbers’ union.

Get Licensed

Before you can get licensed, you’ll need the experience of being a plumber and also need to pass an exam proving that you know state and local plumbing codes. To find out more about these requirements, check out the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies website.

Be Nice

Whether you work for Garvin’s Sewer Service or strike out on your own, the one piece of advice we can give you is this: be nice! Treat your customers kindly and fairly, and always deliver the best plumbing services possible. That’s something that has kept Garvin’s in Denver for over 75 years.

Becoming a plumber isn’t necessarily easy, but there is a clear path you can take filled with lots of on-the-job training. If you’re on your way to becoming a plumber, good luck! And if you’re just interested in sewer drain cleaning, give Garvin’s a call and we’ll get your plumbing moving again.



Digging Into The Reasons You Might Need Rooter Service in Denver


dreamstime_xxl_28600807While Denver isn’t really the oldest city in the country, it doesn’t exactly mean that our sewer pipes are exactly new. In fact, because the most reliable sewer pipes didn’t come along until around 30 or 40 years ago, Denver will suffer many of the same problems as any other city in the country.

So if you own a business or are renting a building in Denver, there are many reasons why you might need rooter service before you know it.

Old Pipes: Old pipes can be made from many materials, and we wrote an entire blog about the various types of pipe that were used from the lateral line from your business in the public sewers. Old pipes are more likely to leak and break, which could lead to needing more frequent sewer cleaning. If you suspect you might have a break, give us a call and we can send down the sewer camera to find out if you’ll need a replacement or if you simply need more frequent sewer service.

Growing Trees: Let’s say that you’re not in an old part of Denver but are in a relatively new building that has newer sewer pipes. The problem them stems from the rapidly growing trees that have been planted in the last 10 years. Those trees, often planted in sidewalk spaces that are two small for them, are sending their roots down and heading for your sewer lines. Rooter service is the answer when you want to get those roots out.

Excess Use: If you have a restroom that’s open to the public, you’re more likely to be calling us for drain cleaning service. Why? Take a guess! Your toilets will be used more often, people will be using more toilet paper, people will let pieces of paper towels go down the drain, all because they simply aren’t as careful when they’re out in a public place. The fact is, when people are in a public restroom they know that they can just walk away from a problem so they’re much less likely to be careful about what they send down the drain. All this mean more frequent drain cleaning service for you.

If You Own A Restaurant: If you own a restaurant, it’s pretty obvious that you’re going to need more frequent drain cleaning services. That’s because grease is constantly heading down the drain, and grease traps don’t help until after it’s already past your drains. If you have a backup because of having too much grease in your drains, business is going to stop until it’s fixed. The best thing to do is engage Garvin’s Sewer Service for some preventive drain cleaning. We’ll be back at the same time every month (or every two months or however you decided to set it up) so there’s a much less chance of a surprise backup.

Previous Tenants: If you’ve just opened up your new business, congratulations. And while the visible fixtures they left behind might look good, you have no idea of knowing what they sent down the drain when they were in charge of the building. The best thing to do is to play it safe and have Garvin’s stop by to clean out the drains so that nothing they sent down ever comes back up.

There are so many things up against you when you have a business; don’t let your drains be one of the. Contact Garvin’s today for the best sewer drain cleaning you can find.




What Else Are People Saying About Our Sewer and Drain Cleaning Service?

Some time ago we responded to a number of testimonials that we’d received from people in Denver and the surrounding areas. We’re always happy to respond to what people are saying about our drain cleaning service, so let’s take a look at what our customers are saying about Garvin’s.


“Because I know Garvin’s can be trusted to do good work and not try to sell me something that I don’t need, that is why I am a longtime customer.”

— Cindy P, Denver, CO

Thanks for noting that, Cindy. We have the no-frills reputation because the only drain cleaning services we’ll perform are the services that customer actually need! (Strange concept, we know). At the same time, we’re going to let you know if we notice a problem. If you’ve called us to clean out your kitchen sink drains for the second time in as many months and notice a willow tree in your front yard, we’re going to suggest you move beyond typical drain cleaning and invest in some rooter service to get rid of those willow roots (which are some of the worst roots to get in your sewer drain).


“Honest, friendly service each and every time. [W]e use your company for the last 10 years.”

— Joe S, Boulder, CO

After having been in the drain cleaning service business for over 75 years, we’re happy to say that Joe is one of our newer customers! We have customers who have been coming to us for 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years. We don’t always have the same technicians over the decades, but we always make sure to hire the best, most honest, and friendliest experts so that we can maintain our stellar reputation in the Denver area. And speaking of friendly workers…


“I recommend you to my friends! Romie was helpful, solved our problem and even came on a Sunday morning! Good job!”

— Tom A, Thornton, CO

It takes a certain kind of friendly technician to be that helpful on a Sunday morning, doesn’t it? Tom points out something that’s true of all businesses: how important work of mouth is to the survival of a company. So keep telling your friends, Tom!


“On a scale of 1-10, I give you a 10. You came when I called. You did a good job. You cleaned up your mess. Your techs are friendly and personable. Thanks!”

— Mrs. Straley, Denver, CO

Well, we can’t ask for much more than a 10, can we? We came when you called (which is why so many people name their dogs “Garvin’s Sewer Service”!). We did a good job (we’d be worried that she didn’t say “great job” but we already got the 10, so we’re good with good), we cleaned up (when dealing with sewer cleaning, it’s a must!). All that and we were personable and friendly. With so many people mentioning that part of their experience with us, it’s pretty obvious that we’re doing something right in the hiring process!

One more thing we’d like to point out: our clients aren’t just from Denver, but from all along the front range. We handle customers from Denver, sure, but also from Boulder, Longmont, Thornton, Westminster, Aurora, Arvada, and every other city and suburb around. We’ve been serving up the best in drain cleaning services for decades and look forward to serving the front range for many more to come. Contact us when you want the best sewer drain cleaning around!




5 Silly Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Grease


"Mmmmm, catalyst for the requirement of unnecessary drain cleaning service." — Homer Simpson

“Mmmmm, catalyst for the requirement of unnecessary drain cleaning service.” — Homer Simpson

Okay, so you’ve just cooked a roast in the crockpot or cooked up a yummy batch of bacon. The bacon grease is pretty obvious, as it sloshes around the pan. The roast is a little bit less so, because you’re thinking “should I make gravy from it?” (Nobody ever makes gravy from bacon grease. And I’m thinking that’s a million dollar idea.)

So, what are you going to do with all that oil and grease? What would a drain cleaning company do with it? When it cools, are you going to throw it in the trash? That’s probably a good idea. Here are a few things you should not do with your grease.

Grease The Hinges: Got a squeaky door? Your bicycle gears not tripping properly? Well, the former will cause your hinges to starting stinking up the house as the grease goes rancid. The latter will cause you to be chased by every dog in the neighborhood because your gears smell so tasty!

Make A Grease Sculpture: It’s malleable. It’s easy to work with. It smells good while you’re using it. People use food for art all the time, just check Google for cheese sculptures! So why not use grease? Because it’s disgusting, that’s why!

Use It As a Hand Cream: Open up your typical hand cream (as opposed to a hand lotion) and most of it looks like cooking grease. In fact, a lot of it feels the same as well. So what’s wrong with using it as a hand cream? Well, it’s going to take forever to get off your hands, and in the meantime you’re going to be greasing up your books, computer mouse, faucet, car keys, and absolutely everything else you touch.

Use It As Perfume: Bacon perfume? This might not be such a bad idea, depending on what kind of person you’re trying to attract!

Pour It Down The Drain: Aw, c’mon, you knew this one was coming! Why else would a drain cleaning service write this blog other than to tell you that sending your grease down the drain is just as silly as the other reasons mentioned here. Not only is it silly, it can also be damaging to your sewer system and cause you to need premature sewer cleaning. So just don’t do it!

A Response To Some of Drain Cleaning and Sewer Service Customers


dreamstime_xxl_21449305 (1)At Garvin’s Sewer Service we do absolutely everything we can to uphold our reputation being reasonably priced and honorable. You’ve heard that happy customers tell three friends that they’re happy with service, while an unhappy customer will tell 10 or more (and in today’s world, they can tell everyone in a city with various websites.) We know just how important it is to make sure that each and every customer is happy with our drain cleaning and sewer service.

Here are some quotes from our customers and a few responses about our service.

“In 2011, a local competitor charged us $239 to advise us that we needed a $11,500 clean out. We called you instead and your service man did the job for $169. He advised us to have it cleaned out annually. Thank you for your honest service.” — Emily Laru

Thanks for letting us know how much we saved you, Emily! The fact is, we would have charged you the $169 even if we knew what you’d been quoted, because in this sewer cleaning situation $169 was the right price to charge. We don’t know where he came up with that outlandish number, but we could clean your sewer pipes for 70 years before we reached that kind of price! Preventive rooter service might be good for you because of the types of trees in your yard and the roots that are in your pipes. Preventive maintenance should keep you sewer lines flowing with no problems, preventing horrible backups.

“You arrived in less than 90 minutes after I made the call requesting service. Garvin’s was very professional and courteous.” — Dave Anderson

While we certainly can’t guarantee that we’ll have someone ready within 90 minutes every time, we’re glad that we were able to accommodate your drain cleaning needs. Regarding the professional and courteous nature of our sewer technicians: we make sure to hire the best people, and we also make sure to train them so that they are having the best possible interactions with our customers. We understand how important your home is to you, and that we’re guests while we’re there. We want you to always be comfortable.

“You saved me over $19 Grand! Steve is an awesome, honest, hard worker…I can’t thank Steve and Garvin’s enough for being honest and being affordable! Thank you!” — Courtnay Argier

We know exactly what happened here. After your sewer started running slow, the “other guys” told you that you had a broken sewer line. Thank goodness you called us for a second opinion and our sewer camera was able to verify that sewer line replacement wasn’t necessary. All you needed was some good rooter service.

Unfortunately, some people are fooled by unscrupulous sewer replacement companies. We’re glad we were there for you. (And Steve says you’re welcome!)

“We absolutely trust you guys! We always feel like we have had a family member taking care of us. Great job!” — Robert Schol

That’s what we strive for, Robert. We approach every job as an opportunity to make a lifelong customer, and it sound like we’ve made one with you.

The fact is, the companies that perform services that don’t need to be done don’t stick around for long. Meanwhile, companies like Garvin’s start as Denver’s first rooter service and then stick around for more than 75 years. Honesty and hard work are rewarding, and we thank the customers above for their kind words and their recognition of what we do. If you’d like to join the ranks of those who have enjoyed our drain cleaning, give us a call at the first sign of trouble. Contact Garvin’s today!