Keeping The Wrong Stuff Out Of Your Garbage Disposal Prevents Unnecessary Drain Cleaning

Keeping The Wrong Stuff Out Of Your Garbage Disposal Prevents Unnecessary Drain Cleaning

Garbage disposals are pretty cool, we have to admit. It’s great when you’re cleaning plates after a meal and don’t want it to stink up the kitchen by having it sit in the trash. It’s also a great alternative to sink stoppers, which can be difficult to keep clean and keep on top of.

When you are in need of garbage disposal installation or cleaning, please give us a call here at Garvin’s. But we’re happy to give you a few tips to cut down on drain cleaning and keeping your garbage disposal up-and-running in the meantime.

Know what not to send down: People put the wrong stuff down the garbage disposal, and that can ruin both the disposal and clog your sewer drain. Don’t let the name fool you…garbage disposals aren’t supposed to be a trash can for anything that will fit into it.

So, what should you watch out for?

  • Stringy and starchy fruits and veggies – Potatoes skins, artichokes, mangos, asparagus, rhubarb, celery…all of these will cause your garbage disposal to choke and seize up. Many of these are just too tough for the blades, or their “strings” get caught around the blade mechanism. Send this stuff to your composter and let the heat and bacteria break them down so that they can fuel your garden.
  • Grease – We know, we say it a lot. (The moment people stop doing it, we’ll shut up about it!) Oils and grease aren’t just bad for you drain, they’re also bad for your garbage disposal. Put the grease in the trash or recycle it.
  • Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds tend to get caught in the trap of your garbage disposal, so it’s best to toss them or compost them like the fruits we mentioned above.
  • Bones – Some garbage disposals claim that they are great at getting rid of chicken bones. We don’t recommend it. While chicken bones are certainly thinner and softer than what you’ll find in a t-bone steak, there’s really no reason to risk them getting trapped, starting a clog that you really don’t want to have to deal with.
  • Pits – This one is pretty obvious. Stone fruits like peaches (also known as drupes) produce pits that are as hard as…well, stone. Watch out for avocado pits as well (the skins are pretty tough, too). If it’s something that could rattle around in your garbage disposal for days, it’s probably a bad idea to put it in there in the first place.
  • Utensils – We know that you didn’t intentionally put your spoon into the garbage disposal, but when you turn it on and it sounds like a plane crash in your kitchen, you feel pretty freaked out (and you might have damaged the disposal as well.) Before you use your disposal, take a quick look to make sure that no one has dropped anything in (and that Lily Tomlin isn’t down there)  

Garbage disposals make life easier, but they’re not catch-alls for anything that falls down your drain. Treat it right and you won’t need drain cleaning nearly as often. But when you do, give Garvin’s a call.




What’s In Drain Cleaner? And Why Doesn’t It Work In Sewer Drain Cleaning?


Why drain cleaners don't work very well in sewer drain cleaningWe understand that there is a certain temptation that comes with chemical drain cleaners. After all, you simply have to go to the store, pay your $7 for some Drano or Liquid Plumr, and you’re good to go, right?

Well, not really. Chemical drain cleaners are one thing we rail against here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, and there are many reasons that we don’t use them in your home or ours.

What’s In Them: Chemical drain cleaners contain chemicals like sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrate, sodium hypochlorite, and aluminum. We’re not trying to scare you with big words, but we will scare you with their warnings to that, should it get in your eyes, mouth, or even skin, you should get to a poison control center immediately. After all, this stuff is made to dissolve organic matter. Hey, that’s exactly what you’re made of!

It’s Only A Short Term Fix: We admit, chemical drain cleaners can (but don’t always) work short term. They might get your drain to unclog that night, but it’s certainly not doing much to help you long term. Why?

Think of the clog in your drain. It’s sitting there, made of food particles, hair, grease, and all the other stuff that falls down the pipe. If you send a chemical cleaner down, it drops to the bottom (because the liquid is heavier than water) and settles on top of the clog. Then it gets to work, dissolving the most vulnerable part of the clog, often the fats. But the moment it pokes a small hole in the clog it heads down the drain and is gone. You’re happy because your water starts going down, but in many cases most of the clog is still there, only now it has holes in it. Because the clog is still there it can grab even more stuff, and once it fills up you’re just back to square one.

Maybe you’ll help it next time by using a plunger. Oh no you don’t, because…

Their Limitations Are Unlimited!: According the website of a popular consumer chemical drain cleaner [name redacted to protect the lackluster], you’d better not use a plunger because the product could splash back and get on your clothing. In our industry, that’s code for “splash back and blind you permanently.” Can you use it in a toilet? No. Can you use it in the dishwasher? No. Can it remove foreign objects that were dropped down the drain. No. Can you use them in any plumbing that has any rubber whatsoever. Again, nope.

If You Have A Root Problem: If your problems are roots, chemical drain cleaners are going to do something between “diddly” and “squat.” There are commercial grade acids that can help clear tree roots, but in most cases you’ll have to have a license to use them…and do you really want them in your home in the first place? We don’t want to have to deal with them either.

So what’s a person to do when they need proper sewer drain cleaning? Do what the chemical cleaner’s website says and give someone like Garvin’s Sewer Service a call when they don’t work and you need proper rooter service. We’ll clean your pipes edge to edge to make sure the clogs are truly gone.



If You Manage Hotels and Motels In Denver, Drain Cleaning Should Be A Top Priority


Denver hotels need drain cleaningDenver has its share of great hotels and just okay hotels. Same when it come to motels. But whether you manage one or a dozen, there’s one thing that should be at the top of your list…drain cleaning.

Why is this, you might ask, when everything seems to be running fine

You Can’t Control What Your Guests Send Down The Toilet – If a person is staying one night at a hotel, how much do they care how they’re affecting the drains and sewer system of the entire hotel? Even if they are there for a week, they’ll never treat your drain system with the same respect as they would with their own, where they are the ones responsible. So what’s going down to clog up your drains? Rolls of toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, condoms, food too stinky to leave in the trash, and the dietary leavings of businessmen eating meat-heavy diets on an expense account. All heading down your drains and hurting your sewer system.

Sinks – Much like toilets, it’s impossible to determine exactly what people are thinking when they send stuff down the drain. Sure, you can forgive the occasional toothbrush, because it was probably an accident. But how did all that dental floss get down there? Are they simply using it and tossing it in the sink? We’re sure your handymen have found some other pretty weird other stuff down the sink as well, and eventually it’s going to get so bad that you need to call professional drain and sewer cleaners

Shower Drains – If you never have to drain your shower drains at home, there’s a good chance you’re someone with short hair. But when you’ve got people from all walks of life showering, they’re going to send all sorts of long hair down the drain. Just because it’s not a problem that you deal with personally doesn’t mean that it’s not something you have to deal with professionally.

Your Restaurant Could Be Adding To The Problem – If you’re having trouble with your sewers constantly clogging, there’s a good chance that your restaurant may be part of the problem. Grease traps are great, but you have to make sure they’re drained and properly cleaned with a sewer jetter. And even the best ones can’t be 100% efficient. If your sewer pipes are constantly needing cleaning, maybe it’s time to get a new sewer trap installed.

If You’re Having Trouble With One Drain… – Sometimes drain problems aren’t really drain problems. If you’re having trouble with one drain, sure, it might be just that one drain. But if you’re having trouble with many drains in your hotel, there’s a good chance that’s it sewer service that you’re needing.

Taking care of a hotel or motel (or many) is a huge responsibility, and how your guests feel about it determines whether or not they’ll come back. If they have any problems because of the drains, it could lead to a bad review online that could convince others not to come. Don’t let your drains be the cause of lost business…call Garvin’s Sewer Service today!


You Can’t Learn Everything From About Drain Cleaning From The Clog Blog, So Like Us On Facebook!

At Garvin’s, we try to keep in touch with our customers as much as possible. That’s one reasons we keep this Clog Blog going, but we certainly know that there aren’t that many people who bookmark it and read every post. And it’s a shame, too, because we really do offer a lot of great tips on how to get the most from your drain cleaning service.

So how can we help you on a more frequent basis, keep you informed of some fun stuff to do in Denver, and make you laugh a little bit more? Like us on Facebook

You’ll be able to ask us questions directly and get the knowledge about Denver plumbing and drain cleaning that’s been passed down for three generations now. What are you going to find when you get there?

Drain Tips: We want your business, and when you’re having drain problems we’re happy to give you free quote and then get all of your drains taken care of. But we also want to help you take care of them yourself, so you’ll get lots of info on stuff like drain cleaning.

Emergency Warnings: Want to ask a question about something funny that’s going on with your sewer? Send your question to use, because we might be able to tell you if the next time you flush is the straw that going to send everything back up your drains.

Avoiding Scams: We’ve built our reputation in Denver and the surrounding area for over seven decades. That’s why we get so steamed when someone comes in and destroys people’s trust in the profession.

Stuff For Fun: Hey, it can’t all be work talk, can it? We can help tip you off to stuff going on in Denver, or post a funny picture that might or might not have to do with drains and sewers. After all, when we’re facebook friends, you expect us to have at least a little personality, right!

We hope you’ll stop by Facebook and like our page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Why Veterinary Clinics And Pet Stores Need Constant Drain Cleaning Service


Drain cleaning service is necessary for pet shops and vetsIf you ask most people what kind of businesses need drain cleaning or need the use of a good sewer jetter, most would probably say restaurants or maybe a hair salon.

Not many would think “veterinary clinic” or “pet store.” But when you consider it, it makes a lot of sense that any company that deals in pet fur is going to be in need of some sewer service. Especially since you’re going to be sending a lot of fur down the drain whenever you’re washing animals.

While the average dog washing location doesn’t have to deal with hair that’s a foot long or more (like a human hair salon would), there are some interesting reasons why a dog salon needs frequent drain cleaning and sewer service.

“Fluffy” hair – This is the kind of hair that seems lighter than air and sticks to your hand after you pet some animals. Because it isn’t compact, it tends to head down the drain and grab onto every surface and gets woven to create clogs.

Different Levels Of Oil – Oil is bad for drains, and there’s a big variance in the amount of oil that comes from people hair. Now imagine that you’re not just dealing with different breeds of dogs, but also cats, rabbits, and ferrets.

Shedding – Animals have hair all over, so there’s a great chance of it falling off (and getting noticed) when they’re on furniture. Heck, even a small dog has more hairs than a full-sized human does. So, through natural shedding during a bath, there’s going to be a lot more animal hair that heads down the drains. This problem is only compounded in months when animals are losing winter coats.

When it comes to sewer cleaners, no one beats Garvin’s Sewer Service. We’ve been dealing the drain problems of homes and businesses for over 75 years, and are ready to tackle any drain cleaning service in the area. Give us a call when your drains are overflowing in furry friend hair.

When Your Car Wash Needs Commercial Drain Cleaning, Give Garvin’s Sewer Service A Call!


Most people who go to a car wash never even think about the water. Well, that’s not true; they think about the water that’s coming down and hitting their car, but they never think about where it goes once it rolls off their hood.

Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we actually think about that a lot. We have a number of car wash clients who rely on us as their drain and sewer cleaners so that their business can keep running. We’re big fans of car washes, since we know what happens at home when people wash their cars…everything goes down the storm sewer and directly into the water system untreated. Good thing your water goes to the sewer so that it can be treated.

Of course, the runoff from your business can’t get to the sewer system to be treated unless it’s free from debris. What service can we offer you from Garvin’s?

Drain Cleaning Services: You never know what you’re going to knock off of someone’s car. We’re not talking about antennas, we’re talking about the junk that they bring in with them. Huge clumps of mud, rocks, sticks, and stuff you’d never guess would stick to a car in the first place! Sure, your drains can handle a lot, but mix that with the grease that can comes off of undercarriages and brakes and you can need a drain cleaner in no time.

Sewer Cleaning Service: Just because it goes down the drains doesn’t mean that it’s gone for good. Eventually you’re going to need sewer cleaning to scrape everything out all the way to the public sewer line. Garvin’s is the sewer cleaner you need.

Preventive Maintenance Programs: Why wait until you’re standing in two inches of water to give us a call? With our preventive maintenance program, we’ll keep everything cleaned out year-round so that so that you never have to turn a customer away due to a clogged drain or sewer.

At Garvin’s, we want to help you keep your business running. Let us help you by giving us a call today!

Run A Hair Salon? Our Preventive Maintenance Drain Cleaning Will Keep You Running

Why hair salons need drain cleaning so muchHas there ever been a business more in need of professional drain cleaning that a hair salon? After all, you’re constantly sending one of the most notorious drain cloggers right down the pipe!

Here are Garvin’s, we’re dedicated to commercial plumbing and every business that needs drain cleaning. And when it comes to hair salons, we know exactly what’s going on and how to deal with it.

The Hair: Of course, hair is the biggest culprit. You’re not only cutting it, but you’re also massaging scalps during the shampoo, causing some to come loose and others to finally fall out. And it all goes straight down the drain. That’s the last time you’ll ever see it again…unless, of course, your drains back up and it floats back up into the sink. That will gross you and your customer out. When you get drain cleaning taken care of, we’ll get rid of that hair so the next two items in our list can’t grab on.

The Shampoo and Conditioners: If you’ve ever cleaned a shower drain, you’ll notice lots of gross stuff hanging onto the hairs you find there. Some of this is shampoo and conditioner that never lathered, and it just gloms onto the hair and doesn’t wash down the drain. That in turn grabs more hairs. We’ll make sure that stuff goes away for good.

All that other stuff: You work in a hair salon, so you know about some of the weird chemicals you use. If you have a clogged drain and those chemicals are trapped, you certainly don’t want to go the Drano route. Mixing chemicals like that could cause toxic fumes that could sicken everyone in the shop.

The best way to take care of all of this is with regular drain cleaning, where we come in at a set time to make sure that there’s never time for anything you send down your drain to pile up. If you don’t go for that, make sure to call us at the first sign of a problem. Contact Garvin’s today!


Happy Thanksgiving! Here Are Three Things You Can Do Ensure You’ll Need Emergency Drain Cleaning Service!

You'll need drain cleaning service if you abuse the grease!

Pour me down the drain…at your peril!


[A tongue-in-cheek blog post from Garvin’s Sewer Service:]

Happy Thanksgiving, all! We hope you’ve got some great plans to invite people over and stuff yourself with a stuffed turkey.

But when your guests all go home, maybe you get a bit lonely and want to have some company from your local sewer service. If this is the case, here are a couple Thanksgiving “invites” that will have us at your door in a flash!

Pour That Turkey Oil Down The Toilet!: If you deep-fried a turkey this year, you’ve got to do something with the oil, right? When you pour the turkey oil down the toilet, it’s not only the oil you have to worry about but the grease that came from the turkey itself. And grease down a toilet drain? Oh boy, this is a gold mine for us! All those twists and turns in a toilet will have us there for a while. [Joking aside: What should you do with it? Most recycling centers will accept used cooking oil.]

Pour That Turkey Grease Down The Kitchen Sink!: If you want us to come for drain cleaning, one of the fastest ways to get us there is to pour the grease from the turkey down your sink. In liquid form it slides right down. But then it starts to congeal, and it leaves some of itself behind. Cold water makes it cling to the sides of your drains, but then warm water sends it down further until it conceals in your sewer lines. Drain cleaning becomes sewer cleaning, so we’ll stick around even longer! [Joking aside: Never send grease of any kind down the drain. Wipe it off with a paper towel and throw it in the trash, or use it for cooking if you’re not too health conscious.]

In all seriousness, we all know you shouldn’t do either of these things. While we make our money from drain cleaning and sewer cleaning, we certainly don’t want you to have to go through the problems associated with these actions. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



3 Cheap Things You Can Do To Prevent Frequent Drain Cleaning

Drain cleaning can be prevented with a little care.

Sinks Only! SINKS ONLY!!!

Here at Garvin’s, we want your business. There’s really no secret about that. But we also know that if our van is parked out in front of your house every two weeks, it seems like we’re doing a bad job. We’re here not only to sell our sewer drain cleaning and sewer services to you, we’re also here to educate you on how you can have a healthier plumbing system in your house. After all, we’re your our neighbors and we drive the same streets as you do…we don’t want angry drivers who are constantly worried about their sewer system cutting us off!

So, here are some of the most common things you can do to prevent having to call us all the time. While it’s pretty impossible for you to do anything about tree roots requiring rooter service, you can make sure that your drains stay a little cleaner.

In The Shower: One of the first things you can do is to get a hair trap in the bath / shower. Hair is certainly the biggest offender when it comes to catalysts for clogs. And it makes sense that you’d lose a lot of hair in the shower, considering that’s where you wash it and massage your scalp. Buying a cheap rubber hair trap that you clean after every bath or shower will prevent your hair from starting a clog in the first place.

Considering the toilet: Don’t put stuff down there that shouldn’t go down there. We all know what toilets are used for, and it’s not for flushing feminine hygiene products (even those labeled as flushable) or condoms or paper towels or cleaning wipes. Also, consider using a toilet paper that disintegrates more easily, as many clogs are caused by too-thick, too-solid toilet paper. Also, it might seem simple, but have a plunger handy. Know, though, that if you’re having constant clogs that it’s probably not your drains or you diet…your sewer lines are probably getting clogged and will need our sewer snake to push through.

At The Sink: We’ve talked time and again about how utterly bad grease is to your kitchen sink drains. That’s because it really is the big reason that drain, home sewer lines, and public sewer lines get clogged. First of all, don’t put grease down your sink in the first place. Second, keep that strainer in your sink in place so that food doesn’t go down the non-disposal side. Get a high-quality garbage disposal that can create the smallest possible particles of food. If your garbage disposal can handle chicken bones, sure it can be fun to hear them crunch, but is it really any better for your drain than if you throw them in the trash.

Finally, get a plunger that you only use for sinks. In fact, write “SINKS ONLY!!!” on it and keep it under your sink, so that the in-laws don’t see it and think “yep, that’s the toilet plunger allright.”

Preventive maintenance: One of the easiest ways to keep your drains clean is with Garvin’s preventive maintenance programs. By having us do regular drain cleaning, you might never have to call us for sewer cleaning.

Follow these simple steps and you’re halfway to a clean drain. And when it does come time that you need sewer drain cleaning, give Garvin’s Sewer Service a call. We’ve been serving the Denver area for over 75 years!



Why You Should Get Drain Cleaning Performed When You Move Into A New House Or Apartment

Why you should get drain cleaning when you move into a new house.At Garvin’s Sewer Service, we know that most people give us a call when there’s something wrong with their drains. Either the sink is backed up or the toilet is overflowing or a clogged drain turns their shower into a bathtub. And we love helping people get out of these unfortunate situations and get their drains flowing faster than ever.

Today we’re suggesting that you give us a call for sewer and drain cleaning as soon as you move into your next house or apartment, even if nothing seems to be wrong. Why?

Shower: There’s probably no drain in the house that will explain our reasoning faster than the shower drain. Imagine you move in and two weeks later the water just isn’t draining out of your shower or tub as fast as it should. That’s odd, you think, because there’s no way your hair could have clogged the drain that quickly. You can probably guess what’s clogging the drain…the hair, dirt, and shower products from the previous occupants. And you’re standing in the water that won’t head down because of it. Yuck!

Bathroom sink: If you’ve ever lifted the stopper in a bathroom sink, it’s hard to not gag at the stuff that’s just a few inches from your toothbrush…collected hair, soap, and makeup, all degrading and turning into a black goop. It’s bad enough when you know that it came from the stuff you sent down there, but it’s much, much worse when you know that it’s the goop from a different person. Call us for drain cleaning and we’ll send it on its way.

Kitchen Sink: You’ve got no way of knowing if the previous owners or renters were good to their kitchen sink pipes or horrible. Were they the kind of people who never sent grease down the drain but didn’t worry about sending pineapple peels down the garbage disposal? Even if you treat the kitchen sink right from now on, the tiny amounts of stuff you send down could be caught by the stuff they sent down.

Toilet: If the toilets are running slow, it could be a slow drain. As in a “maybe they tried to send the turkey fryer grease down the toilet last Thanksgiving” slow drain. And as weird stuff down the toilet grabs more weird stuff down the toilet…well, we won’t tell you the stuff we’ve found from previous occupants. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fresh start?

Sewer Cleaning: Even if every drain in your home is running well, there’s a chance that things are still being caught by the crimes of the previous occupants. Maybe they knew that their tree roots were catching whatever they flushed, but they never got around to rooter service. Start from scratch with a thorough sewer cleaning from Garvin’s and know that the previous tenants are gone for good!

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you’re starting with clean drains? Give Garvin’s Sewer Service a call and we’ll make your drains and sewer line work as good as they ever have!