Spring Drain Cleaning

drain_cta_revIs it time for spring drain cleaning yet? If you are itching to get some things in order, here are some helpful plumbing-related tips:
Give some love to your dishwasher and sink. Your dishwasher and kitchen sink are usually tied together and will affect each other. For example, if you put too much food into the disposal, it could back up into the dishwasher. Likewise, if you leave too much food on your dishes, it can clog the food trap in the dishwasher.

Clear the dishwasher of any food and run it empty, using baking soda or vinegar as the detergent. Freshen your disposal with a lemon peel and ice or with a commercial freshening agent like “Disposer Care”, found in the dish soap isle of the grocery store.
To prevent back-ups and clogs, scrape your plates into the trash or compost, rather than using the disposal or dishwasher to deal with the excess. Both appliances are really only designed to deal with “licked clean” plates.

To restore the sparkle of your faucet, a mix of half vinegar and half water can remove water spots and fingerprints. Be careful to not use an abrasive cleaning product or cleansing sponge that can damage your faucet or sink’s finish.

Water damage can be slow and sneaking and catastrophic- do a check of your plumbing around the house to find moisture. Hopefully it is dry, but if not, is something loose? Does it need a seal? Is there rust? Water can be very damaging, leaving mold, moisture and corrosion.

Remember to check:

  • Under the kitchen sink.
  • All bathroom sinks.
  • Caulking and grout around the tub and toilets and see if it needs to be repaired to prevent water damage.
  • Under and on top of the water heater- any moisture there?
  • Near the washing machine. How are the faucets? Hoses? Drain line?
  • The hose spigot outside- are there any visible cracks or dripping?
  • Are your gutters and downspouts clear? Are they able to release water without it damming?
  • How is your furnace and air-conditioning unit? Is it able to drain properly? Is it free of debris? Have you changed the filter?

Follow these drain cleaning pieces of advice and your drains will last longer. For more information, tips or questions, give us a call! 303-571-5114

Better drain cleaning than Drain-O

dreamstime_9750246I was listening to the radio the other day and the LMFAO song, “Party Rock Anthem” came on. Of course, I turned it up, because it lends itself to that. I was bouncing around in the rush hour traffic when all of a sudden, one line of the song rang out among the others. I felt an immediate need to jump on my computer and write a blog about the following statement: “Like Drain-o™ I got that devilish flow”.

Ok, that’s quite a stretch, but I’m PlumbingGirl and I can write about what I want.

In my opinion, there is nothing more devilish than chemical chemicals when it comes to drain cleaning. Webster’s defines “devilish” the following way: dev·il·ish, adjective, 1. of, like, or befitting a devil; diabolical; fiendish. 2. extreme; very great: a devilish mess.

Is there any other way to describe a product with the following warning label caution? (Bold is my emphasis)

Warnings: Poison: Keep out of reach of children. Poison: May be fatal or cause permanent damage if swallowed. Causes severe burns to eyes and skin. May cause blindness. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, mouth and clothing. Always keep out of reach of children. Immediately give first aid. Eyes: Rinse immediately with water. Remove contact lenses, then flush eyes with water for at least 20 minutes. Swallowed: Rapidly rinse mouth, then immediately drink a glassful of milk or water. Do not induce vomiting. Skin: Remove affected clothing. Flush with water for 15 minutes. Then immediately call poison center, physician or emergency room. Keep out of reach of children.
Acute Health Effects: From MSDS Inhalation: None known. Eye Contact: Corrosive. May cause permanent eye damage. Skin Contact: Corrosive. May cause chemical burns. Ingestion: May be fatal if swallowed. May cause severe damage to the digestive tract. Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated by Exposure: None known.  Source:  http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=brands&id=19001029

 

Sorry for grossly misusing such a classic song out of context. However, I felt to make my point, it was important. Do you see what they say 3 times above? (hint: they don’t want it around children).

Garvin’s Sewer Service strongly discourages homeowners from using and/or storing chemical drain cleaning products. There are much better ways to go about drain cleaning

Garvin’s offers some less caustic products to prevent problems. And of course, we offer the absolutely Earth friendly drain-cleaning service known as “snaking” or “rooting”.

Thanks for listening,

PlumbingGirl

PS. Toilet running? Just give the handle a WiggleWiggleWiggle- Yeah! 😉

Drain Cleaning Can Reduce Water Damage

dreamstime_xxl_31620048Water damage can happen after a water line break, heavy weather hits, sewer line or toilet backups, sprinkler issues and even, as a friend recently experienced, a fish tank mishap. Here’s some tips on what to do to limit water damage:

1. Turn water off. If the source of water can be stopped, do that first. Stop using your water system as soon as possible in the case of a plumbing related issue.

2. Avoid danger. Be careful of electrical hazards, sagging ceiling panels and other damaged items that could become hazardous.

3. Call a professional. There are many service providers who can help fast. Plumbers, Insurance Agents, Restoration companies, etc. are here to help.

4. Dry it out. Remove as much standing water as possible from hard surfaces such as furniture legs and hardwood floors. The sooner you can begin the drying process, the less damage you will experience to carpet padding, drywall, furniture and more.

5. Get a water alarm. Water alarms are small devices that can be placed anywhere you don’t want water damage. Many people place them near floor drains, under sinks, inside window wells, behind washing machines, etc. We sell them for $15, or you can find them at a hardware store.

If you need a Professional to help with any water damage issues, please check out our referral page or call us! (303) 571-5114

 

Cold Weather Tips Beyond Basic Drain Cleaning

dreamstime_xxl_29441130Even though we do drain cleaning and sewer repair every day, we’re interested in helping you deal with every aspect of your home’s plumbing…and beyond!

 

A special note from a friend:
This is quick HEADS UP to all TENANTS, OWNERS, VENDORS, FRIENDS and FAMILY MEMBERS!!!

Unless you live in the tropics or in the south, the COLD WEATHER IS COMING.

As a reminder, UNHOOK ALL HOSES and ANY OTHER DEVICES that are attached to outside faucets IMMEDIATELY and I mean NOW… because here in Colorado, is is Monday October 17th and the weather forecasters are telling us we should have our first hard freeze tonight.

I know this is a bit of a late notice, but tenants are responsible, like homeowners, for thinking about maintenance of their property at all times. We have already contacted various sprinkler companies to get in touch with tenants to get into the house, turn off the outside water and to blow out the sprinkler system..

Take this opportunity to check out the furnace filter… AND check the batteries in any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your property. It only takes ONE issue to cause terrible trouble, damage or death to your family.

Be sure your pets are properly taken care of — make sure the water in their bowls doesn’t freeze, and that they have adequate shelter to stay out of rain and snow (I am guilty of this – I saw all 4 of my doggies huddled under a small roof overhang this morning while they were getting drenched… poor little bugs).

Of course there are all kinds of things to prep your car for the winter…

Lastly, make sure YOU are prepared… maybe have a blanket and snow shovel and ice scraper in your car and maybe some cash tucked somewhere for food, gas, help, etc!

Enough “mothering” of everyone… enjoy the gorgeous fall colors if you get them where you live!
MAGIC GENIE REALTY
Genie Reynolds – Broker / Owner
Office/Fax – 303.622.6449 Cell – 303.881.1912
www.MagicGenieRealty.com

Thank you for your continued support and referrals!

 

Does Hard Water Affect Your Need For Drain Cleaning?

dreamstime_12124506Here is some great info from our friends over at Clear View Water. We have permission to repost this, and if you have any questions, contact them directly.
Thanks!
PlumbingGirl

Clean.
Healthy. Pure.

Families and Homeowners across Colorado continue to reach out to us with questions like “What are the signs of Hard Water in my home?” We hope these answers help!

Here are a few of the tell-tale signs of hard water:

  • Scale Build-up.
    Hard water allows soap to stick to shower doors, shower walls, tubs and faucets; which increases cleaning time and efforts.
  • Dry Skin.
    Hard water dries out skin and hair.
  • High Cleaning Costs.  Excessive hardness levels cause homeowners to
    use increased amounts of soaps and detergents for cleaning and bathing.
  • Etching and Spotting.  Glassware, pots and pans become scratched and
    have spotting due to hard water.
  • Damaged Appliances. Water heaters, pipes, faucets and dishwashers
    breakdown or fail when exposed to the daily effects of hard water.

The good news is that there is a green, sustainable solution to these hard water issues.  If you have questions about hard water in your home and want to learn more about our Whole House Anti-Scale System, please reach out to us at
303.801.7031 today!

 

       

ClearView
Water, LLC

P.O. Box 181782

Denver, Colorado 80218

www.ClearViewWater.com

303.801.7031

Talk to us about drain cleaning and sewer cleaning anytime!

dreamstime_xxl_42462302I’d love to answer any questions you have about plumbing, plumbing systems, drain cleaning, sewer lines, heating systems, sewer cleaning, air systems and more. I know, if you were all that interested, you’d be a plumber, BUT, I get lots of questions when I’m out networking. I also get lots of stories.

I’d love to hear them! I’d love to share them!

Do you have a terrible tenant (or terrible landlord) story? Has a guest ever totally damaged something that required sewer cleaning? (I’m thinking like “Meet the Fockers” or “Christmas Vacation” style story)

Do you have a I-did-it-myself-and-you-wouldn’t-believe-what-happened story? Did you try something that absolutely failed or surprised you when it worked?

Do have a weird noise story? A story titled, “It fell into the toilet and.. ” or similar story?

Share your story with me and you could win a $25 gift card*!
E-mail your story within the body of the e-mail to: askplumbinggirl@hotmail.com by Oct. 31, 2011.

*You don’t have to be local to participate. Winner will be chosen at random from questions and stories received. gift card will be for $25 to a store of the winner’s choosing as long as one is available within reason, determined at my discretion.

You can also follow me on facebook in order to learn even more.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

PlumbingGirl

Calm, On time, Clean Drain Cleaning

garvins_sitebg6_cartoonI LOVED this testimonial and had to share it:

“It is not my habit to write recommendation letters to companies I have hired. However, the helpful manner that you personally extended and the professional workmanship of the two employees that came to my home on July 7 should not go unrecognized.

All to often, when I have dealt with other plumbing companies in the past, I had the distinct feeling of being pressured to buy the most expensive solution and advised for the need to do it immediately or suffer dire circumstances. I so appreciated your calmly explaining what needed to be done, and just as important what didn’t need to be done, and then offering a number of alternatives for the repairs. As promised, you e-mailed me that afternoon the information and costs for the project. The invoice was specific and the billing was almost 20% less than previous bids.

The technicians arrived right on time, as you did, and both explained what they were going to do and worked quickly to complete the task. They were not only courteous and conversational but seemed to take pride in doing their job well. They left the areas undisturbed and clean.

I can assure you that not only will I use Garvin’s in the future but I am recommending your services to my friends and associates.

The time spent with your company was indeed a pleasant surprise.

Yours Truly,
John V., Lakewood”

Wanna see a few more of our testimonials about our drain cleaning?? Check them out here.

Why physical drain cleaning beats the chemicals

dreamstime_15471738

Firstly, we’ve found that physically get rid of the clog is so much better drain cleaning than chemicals. Because chemicals usually don’t work. Plus, you’ve got to keep them around your house.

My friend, Jason Carroll, with Keller Williams Commercial, sends me a lovely monthly newsletter. I felt this month the topics were spot on to what we talk about a lot here at Garvin’s and decided to share them with you. Enjoy!

Do not dump household liquids down storm drains or sewers or throw hazardous material into trash bins for collection. Many state and local governments ban the disposal of hazardous materials into standard household trash. Contact your local waste agency or visit earth911.com to enter your zip code and learn about the specific disposal options and recycling locations near you.

American households produce over 4 million pounds of household hazardous waste every day. Source: University of Utah

What’s Hazardous in Your Household?

All Purpose Cleaners & Disinfectants

Drain Openers

Furniture Polish

Oven Cleaners

Paints, Varnishes, Solvents & Thinners

Glues/Adhesives

Fertilizers & Pesticides

Pool Chemicals

Nail Polish Removers w/ Acetone

Aerosol cans

Medical Waste & Drugs

Flammable Fuels

Cooking Oil

Electronics

Batteries

Tires &Antifreeze

Products with Mercury

Do you have any more tips on recycling? What has been your experience with recycling hazardous materials? Did anything on this list surprise you?

~PlumbingGirl

Chemical Free Drain Cleaning

drain_cta_revToday’s Soap Box is on liquid drain cleaners. If you’re unsure what I mean, I’m referring to products like LiquidPlumbr ™ and Drano ™.

One of my technicians suffered chemical burns as a direct result of cleaning a drain after a liquid product failed to clear a line. The homeowner also failed to tell us that they had treated the line with the “drain cleaning” product. Those are air quotes, because it didn’t end up cleaning anything.

The Drano ™ website states the following precautions:

Open carefully. Do not squeeze bottle. Avoid splashing. Clean up spills at once. Keep hands, face, and children away from drains while using Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover. Never use a plunger during or after use of Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover because Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover may still be present if drain did not clear…

Read product label for additional information and precautions. Source: http://www.drano.com/standing-water

The bolded text above, is my emphasis — plunging, or otherwise trying to get through the line, may cause a splash into your eyes or on skin, and, the precautions warn against this.

Safer things you can do to unclog your drain:

PREVENTION:

1. Use a screen (and an additional screen if needed) to stop items from going down the drain. This is true for showers, tubs, sinks and kitchen sinks. Take the captured items and dispose of them in the trash.

2. Soap scum can develop in the lines. These are greasy substances and can be found in laundry lines as well as sinks and tubs or showers. To remove this greasy substance, use VINEGAR. Straight, undiluted vinegar can help keep the lines from building up too much soap scum. You can run a load of hot water and vinegar in your washing machine to help clear lines. This is not a drain cleaning solution, but rather preventative care.

ONCE YOU HAVE A CLOG:

  • Shower: remove the screen and see if there is hair attached to it- this is the most common problem. Remove the hair and throw it in the trash. If this is not the cause, the clog may be further down the line and you should call a professional. Traps under showers can cost a lot to replace and you don’t want to damage them by using corrosive materials or the wrong equipment.
  • Toilet: purchase a plunger and use it. It is a homeowner necessity. Most toilet clogs can be cleared this way. If this is a recurring problem, see my blog on Bad Toilet Paper. If a toy or other non-waste item falls into the toilet, you may call a professional as the toilet may need to be removed to retrieve the item. Do this before you need sewer cleaning.
  • Sink: pull up the stopper and check for a clump of hair or other debris, remove it and discard it in the trash. If this isn’t the problem, the clog could be further down the line. You may call a professional, or remove the p-trap under the sink and use a flashlight to see if you can locate a clog in the pipe. You may be able to use your hand or a snagging type tool (found at hardware stores) to grab and remove the blockage.
Here’s a video if you’d like a visual of what I’m recommending for small lines.
As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! AskPlumbingGirl@hotmail.com

Rip off Plumbers: When Drain Cleaning Goes Bad

How does Garvin’s feel about Rip Off Plumbers?

Problem 1: The guy is a salesman!

Why would anyone send a salesman to look at a plumbing job? Because he isn’t a plumber, he’s a salesman. He could have just as easily quoted her a price over the phone for a new water heater. Honestly, his clean shirt is a giveaway. (Not that a plumber can’t be clean, but if he works for a living — as opposed to sells water heaters —he might be a little dirty on the knees, shoulder and/or brow.)

Problem 2: He literally doesn’t care about the customer.

Really? He walked in circles! And he lied about not only the water heater being broken, but created fear in her by giving her bad information. I’m SO angry when people use unethical fear-based “information” to scare people into buying what they have to sell. I could go on a soapbox rant just on this, but I will restrain myself.

Problem 3: He drives away in a brand new van with a vehicle wrap

It is pretty clear at this point how he was able to pay for that. That’s all I care to say about that.

Problem 4: What are the consequences?

Now what? He goes on to plumb another day. Meanwhile, he’s taking business from ethical, honest plumbers. He’s paying his bills with other people’s money. He’s giving the plumbing profession a bad name.

If you ever get ripped off, let the BBB know! Let the Chamber of Commerce in your area know! Tell someone who can address it whether you’ve been scammed regarding drain cleaning, sewer repair, or rooter service!

With Heated Emotion,

PlumbingGirl