How to Check if Your Toilet Tank is Leaking

How to Check if Your Toilet Tank is Leaking

While Americans use a lot of water every day for drinking and watering flowers and taking showers, a little over a quarter (27 percent) of the water we use comes from our toilets. That sounds like a lot, but that number can rise even higher if there is a leak in your toilet tank that allows wasted water to run for hours at a time. Nobody wants to waste that kind of water, whether that be for environmental or budgetary reasons. How does one make sure they don’t have a leak in their toilet tank? There’s a simple test you can conduct to know whether you’ll need plumbing leak repair in Denver.

Performing the Leak Test

The first sign that something may be wrong with your toilet is the persistent turning on and off of the water in the toilet tank, even when you aren’t using the commode. But even if you don’t hear that water running, you still can perform this test to be sure a leak isn’t running up your water bill.

To get started, you will need a packet of toilet leak detection dye tablets. They are very quick and easy to use and are available through your plumbing contractor in Englewood or at your local hardware store. Here’s how you use them to test your toilet for a leak:

  1. Remove the toilet tank lid.
  2. Remove the blue dye tablets from the package and drop them into the toilet tank. You will immediately find that the water in your tank has turned blue.
  3. Put the lid back onto the tank and give the tablets time to completely dissolve. This usually takes approximately 10-to-15 minutes.
  4. After that time, come back and check the bowl of your toilet. If the water there has turned any shade of blue, it means that your toilet tank is leaking and wasting water.

What to Do If Your Toilet Tank is Leaking

Toilet tank leaks are usually caused by an ineffective flush valve system or a fill valve problem, either of which is something best left to a professional plumber. While you likely don’t need to call emergency plumbing in Denver to correct the problem, it is something you’ll want to have taken care of to ensure the leak is repaired so you can stop wasting water and lower your monthly water bill.

Every day a silent leak goes undetected in your home can amount to as much as 300 gallons of wasted water, which is about three times what the average American uses in an entire day. Not only is that incredibly wasteful, but it can lead to hundreds of dollars flushed away each year for literally no good reason. A quick call to Garvin’s Sewer Service will cost much less than what you’d pay in wasted water, and you’ll be doing the environment a favor by conserving water.

If you’ve run the toilet tank test and need Garvin’s Sewer Service to help you repair it, give us a call and we’ll stop that leaking toilet tank at our earliest convenience.

Why are Plumbers Considered Essential Workforce?

Why are Plumbers Considered Essential Workforce?

There has been a lot of talk lately about what is considered “essential”, especially in regards to service providers. Pandemic or not, plumbers are considered essential for two main reasons, and several others (in our opinion). Here’s why:

Plumbers are Essential Reason 1: Uncontrolled Water Flow

When a pipe bursts or a fitting fails and water is gushing, it is a true emergency. Water can create significant damages to property and needs to be shut off as soon as possible to prevent flooding. Once shut off, repairs can be made so that water bills don’t skyrocket nor future flooding threatens the property.

Plumbers are Essential Reason 2: Sewer Back Ups

When a sewer line backs up into a home, it causes three major issues:

  • Flooding (if water continues to be ran)
  • Pooling sewage 
  • Inability to use water

Not having access to running water or the ability to use a toilet without creating flooding or additional waste backing up into the home creates a significant health concern. Bacteria, fecal matter and disease can all be present in the pooling sewage and needs to be flushed out of the home as soon as possible.

In both the cases of uncontrolled water flow and sewer back-ups, a restoration or cleaning service may be needed to restore or replace property damaged by the plumbing issue.

Other Reasons We Are Essential

Whether the government determines these as essential or not, doesn’t mean much to us, nor the customers who know just how important these additional issues can be:

Leaks. Minor leaks around the sink or toilet can cause significant damage if left in disrepair. Rotted wood floors, cabinets, subflooring, and mold growth can all happen when water gets into an area and can’t dry out. Often leaks are hidden, only to be discovered once other repairs are being made or when there is a remodel.

Visible leaks should be handled as soon as possible in order to limit or eliminate damages from where the water flows that may not be seen.

Convenience. Decades ago homeowners knew how to make do without certain appliances. In fact, there are still places in the world today who don’t have the convenience of running water, let alone refrigerator ice makers or water purifiers. However, as Americans we have the ability to choose convenience – whether that is a gas line to an in or outdoor grill, a water line to a smart fridge, a low flush or ADA toilet, or faucets that best fit our lifestyle.

While these fixtures may not be essential to everyone, their convenience, efficiency, and aesthetics improve our quality of life.

Maintenance. As homeowners and building managers know, maintenance is the most affordable way to stay on top of your property. Keeping water heaters, pipes and drains in the best shape consistently over time, saves time, money and stress over a huge repair in the future.

For example, getting a sewer line cleaned every 12-18 months can prevent a build up that results in a several thousand dollar repair. Not only is that financially difficult, there is also the mess of digging the yard up and not being able to use water while the repair is being done.

If you are experiencing a plumbing emergency, or are needing to make repairs or improvements, Garvin’s Sewer Service is here, and has been since 1940, to help you as part of America’s Essential Workforce. Call us today at 3030-571-5114 for more information or to get scheduled.

Tips for Keeping Drains Clear at Hair Salons

Tips for Keeping Drains Clear at Hair Salons

In residential situations, hair clogs are among the most common issues that homeowners deal with in their sinks and shower drains. So, it’s not hard to imagine the sorts of plumbing nightmares that can occur at a hair salon, where hair of every length, size, and thickness can find its way into just about any corner of the building, including sinks and drains.

Knowing how much loose hair exists at a business like this, it seems like a reasonable thing to suggest some preventative measures to ensure that major plumbing issues don’t occur. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we’ve had more than our fair share of service calls to hair salons, so we recommend the following actions to cut down on how many of those calls are necessary over the course of a given year.

#1 Catch Hair Before it Reaches the Drain

On its own, hair can be the bane of any hair stylist’s existence, especially considering how much shampoo mixes with the loose hair that ultimately enters these drains. The best way to ensure those gunky clogs don’t form in your drains is to catch the hair before it gets there. That means investing in some sort of hair stopper, mesh screens or hair traps. Some sinks have stopper assemblies with screens built in. Catch all that soapy or gelled-up hair and clean the stoppers regularly to ensure those clogs never form in the first place.

#2 Be Smart About Troublesome Chemicals

Hair salons deal with a number of chemicals which are required for coloring or setting hair, and while much of those chemicals go down the drain, an existing clog can create big-time headaches for the salon owner. We don’t recommend using a liquid drain cleaner to unblock those clogs because the combination of chemicals can be very corrosive. Regular drain cleanings can help ensure this doesn’t happen.

#3 Flush Your Drains

One preventative approach is to regularly flush your sink with a full basin of hot water. To do this, simply fill up a five-gallon bucket with hot water and dump the whole thing down the drain. Sometimes the low-pressure water of everyday use isn’t enough to flush away minor clogs. A bigger flush may do the trick.

#4 Get Regular Drain Cleanings

One of the best things you can do to make sure you don’t end up with major clogs is to schedule regular drain cleanings with Garvin’s Sewer Service. Not only can we flush out whatever gunk may be building up in a drain long before it becomes problematic, but we also can do a quick check for other problems that may be lurking beneath the surface. It’s an affordable service that goes a long way toward ensuring all a salon’s sinks and drains continue working as expected.

If you are in need of commercial drain services in Englewood or any of the surrounding areas, contact us here at Garvin’s Sewer Service so we can get you on the schedule and unclog any drain, no matter what the reason may be for its blockage. Even if you don’t need our services immediately, we suggest doing the aforementioned things in your hair salon to minimize the need for plumbing services. Just know that if you ever need us, we’re just a phone call away!

A Guide to Sewer Line Preventative Maintenance

A Guide to Sewer Line Preventative Maintenance

Your sewer lines may be hidden, but they are about as important as any individual aspect of a home. Imagine what life would be like if you couldn’t drain a sink or flush a toilet or run a shower without it backing up. It sounds awful, but these things happen all the time, and sometimes they get so bad that the homeowner can incur major repairs, including but not limited to a full sewer replacement.

How does one prevent having to undertake massive sewer line repairs? By taking care of a little preventative maintenance. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we want to help homeowners do the necessary things to prevent their pipes from clogging, hopefully in a way that keeps a complete sewer replacement from ever becoming necessary. The following is a look at ways we can help with drain and sewer line preventative maintenance:

#1 Clean Slow Drains

Many people attack a slow-moving drain with a bottle of liquid drain cleaner, but there are so many reasons why that just isn’t the best course of action. A sewer drain cleaning in Englewood often is the best way to clear a drain of any grease, hair, or other items that could be causing the backup. It is better for the environment and the integrity of your pipes to have this done by a professional.

#2 Check for Cracks

Professional plumbers also can check your sewer for cracks using tools that most homeowners don’t have on-hand. Bendable snake cameras allow plumbers with a trained eye to locate cracks in a sewer, which helps them understand exactly where bigger problems may arise in the future had they not been checked up on early.

#3 Remove Trees Near Sewer Lines

Tree roots are among the most notorious killers of functional sewer lines, so one approach to preventing invasive and pricy sewer line replacement is just to remove those trees in the first place. If not removing trees, at least planting new ones away from sewer lines is a smart approach, and a plumber can help you know exactly where in your yard that may be.

#4 Test Water Pressure

Professionals here at Garvin’s Sewer Service have access to special gauges that can check the quality of your water pressure, and if something doesn’t appear to be working quite right, they can give homeowners a sense of what to do get things back up to snuff. 

#5 Check Under Sinks for Warning Signs

Another bit of preventative maintenance plumbers do is just to have a check under sinks for any cracks or leaks in the pipes that reside there. Think of it the same way you would a multi-point inspection for your vehicle at the car dealership. If something’s wrong, we can fix it before it becomes a much bigger problem.

Contact the Denver Sewer Replacement & Maintenance Experts

The idea behind any sort of preventative maintenance is to be sure that everything works the way it should and that molehills don’t turn into mountains. If you’d like to schedule a preventative maintenance appointment with one of our professionals, contact the professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service so we can help ensure that your home’s plumbing continues working as it should.

Sink drain cleaning

Clean Your Drains Regularly Before They Drain You

The drains in your home aren’t necessarily something you can see, but they are essential in ensuring that water is carried away from the home rather than pooling on the floor somewhere and/or dripping from the ceiling. Ideally, homeowners would not have to deal with leaky or damaged drains because they’d all work perfectly all the time, but the fact is since they are hidden behind walls it’s almost impossible to know that something is wrong until it’s too late.

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to prevent leaks and damaged drains. The easier thing to do is hire a professional drain cleaning service in Denver, CO to make sure your home’s drains are cleared out and working properly. Even if they aren’t causing backups, dirty drains can build up bacteria and germs, which is gross, unsanitary, and potentially corrosive to your pipes.

Four Reasons to Clean Your Drains

#1 To Prevent Major Plumbing Issues

The most important reason to have your drains cleaned regularly is to avoid major plumbing emergencies. A minor issue can become a major issue pretty quickly, especially when it comes to blockages. What starts as a bit of grime can build up into a full blockage, and then you’re looking at sewage backing up and a potentially very expensive series of repairs. Grease, soap, fat, and hair are the most common culprits, and regular drain cleanings keep those from turning into much larger issues.

#2 To Boost the Longevity of Your Plumbing System

And that’s the other major advantage. If you’re preventing major issues, you’re also boosting the longevity of the system as a whole. Blockages put strain on pipes and drains, and buildup can be corrosive. Rather than spending a small amount of money for a cleaning, homeowners can spend huge amounts on full system replacements. Clean drains prolong the inevitability of that.

#3 To Reduce Foul Odors

These blockages are, quite frankly, gross. They look gross, feel gross, and smell gross, and the longer these clumps of fat and grease are allowed to sit there and build bacteria and mold, the more likely they are to stink up the house whenever you use that sink or shower. No one likes these types of unpleasant smells, and a drain cleaning can prevent them from happening.

#4 To Prevent the Spread of Bacteria and Germs

Those bacteria have another negative outcome: turning your sink into a cesspool that can work its way onto food and otherwise clean dishes. Bacteria and germs in this context are not good for anyone, but a cleanout can prevent them from infesting your sink.

Hiring a Drain Cleaning Plumber Near Englewood, CO

If you find yourself in need of a drain cleaning plumber in or around Englewood, CO, contact Garvin’s Sewer Service so we can inspect your drains and schedule a cleaning if necessary. There are so many important reasons to make sure your drains are clean and working functionally, because the financial burden of resulting major plumbing issues simply isn’t worth the hassle or the expense.

Don’t Let Your Bathroom’s Leak Play Hide-and-Seek

Don’t Let Your Bathroom’s Leak Play Hide-and-Seek

When the original plumbing was installed in your home, fittings, pipes, and hardware were meant to work for decades, but anyone who has ever owned a home understands that at some point, a leak somewhere in that plumbing is inevitable. It isn’t the plumber’s fault; sometimes issues just develop slowly over time. And when they do, it’s important to contact a plumber to correct the issue as quickly as possible because little leaks can lead to significant damage if left unfixed.

While an emergency plumber in Denver can fix the leak quickly, it’s important for homeowners to know what to look for since it isn’t always as easy as a faucet dripping incessantly into a sink. The following are a few things to look for so you know whether to call Garvin’s Sewer Service for an immediate plumbing leak repair:

#1 A Musty Smell

If you’ve ever been in a basement that smells musty, like mildew, or vaguely earthy, you know the type of smell we’re talking about here. This type of smell means that water is getting into the house somehow, and tracking down the source of the smell could mean tracking down the source of the leak.

#2 Dark Spots on the Ceiling or Walls

Another clear way to tell that there is a leak somewhere in your home is through the appearance of dark spots on your ceiling or walls. Especially if you notice these stains appearing on a ceiling that lies directly beneath a bathroom, it could be an indication that something is leaking and causing those water spots to form.

#3 Bubbling or Warping

In more severe cases, leaks can compromise the integrity of those same surfaces. Water stains are one thing, but noticing bubbling or warping of the drywall or the flooring somewhere could mean a hidden leak is turning those surfaces spongy. This particular symptom warrants a call to an emergency plumber immediately.

#4 Visible Mold

The appearance of mold in certain areas like the shower isn’t necessarily an indication of a water leak, but when mold appears in places that are typically dry, that could indicate a problem. Any mold on non-shower walls, floors, or ceilings should be cause for concern regarding a potential leak.

#5 Unusually-High Water Bills

If you’ve lived in a home long enough to know what a standard water bill should look like, hopefully you’ll notice when a bill is significantly and unusually higher than normal. That higher bill could mean that water is leaking out in a way that is not only wasteful and expensive, but also potentially damaging to other aspects of your home.

Call the Professionals

If you notice any of these things in your home, contact your plumbing contractor in Denver, Garvin’s Sewer Service, so we can correct the issue and ensure that minor damage doesn’t quickly turn to major damage. We’re always happy to help, but it makes a big difference if our customers can recognize the signs of leaking water that may appear in their own homes. Contact us today for your Speedy Fast Quote.

Common Dishwasher Drain Issues

Common Dishwasher Drain Issues

It’s hard to remember a time when dishwashers weren’t in the majority of homes across the United States, but we can be reminded very quickly how essential they are to our lives should our dishwasher ever break down. Washing dishes by hand not only takes longer but uses more water, and adding those layers of inconvenience back into your life is a major wakeup call.

So we really notice when a dishwasher isn’t working the way it should. In some instances, it’s possible the dishwasher may require replacement, but in most cases it’s likely an issue with the dishwasher drain. Here are a few things you can do to prevent your dishwasher drain from backing up:

Rinse your dishes well

Most modern dishwashers are capable of washing dishes without rinsing them off first, but it’s a good idea to scrape off the excess food or solids before loading your dishes into the dishwasher. During the wash cycle, these solids get rinsed off the dishes but they need to go somewhere. Newer dishwashers may filter these solids before they hit the drain but the filter or drain basket can still clog and cause water to back up in the bottom of the dishwasher.

There is water in the bottom of my dishwasher

Sometimes the water comes in, but it won’t come out. This could mean you’ve got a clog in the dishwasher drain basket, the dishwasher drain, or a kink in the dishwasher drain hose. Here are a few tips you can try if you have water that isn’t draining.

Run your garbage disposal

The drain hose is the ribbed, plastic hose that’s connected from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal drain. If there is food in the disposal drain then it may prevent the dishwasher from draining. Turn the water on and run the garbage disposal for 15-20 seconds to help clear any potential blockage in the drain hose.

Check the drain hose for kinks

The drain hose may possibly have a kink, which can prevent the water from draining out of the dishwater. You may be able to see the hose under the dishwasher, but this repair may be better suited for a professional plumber.

Clean the drain basket regularly

Modern dishwashers have a filter or drain basket located inside the dishwasher that’s designed to catch solids and other food particles. This basket is meant to be removed and rinsed regularly. If you notice a buildup of food on the drain basket, then consider rinsing your dishes prior to loading, even if the manufacturer claims you don’t need to.

If your dishwasher drain is giving you issues then contact Garvin’s for a free estimate or to schedule an appointment. 

Common Causes of Plumbing Leaks

Common Causes of Plumbing Leaks

It’s never a good thing to discover that you’ve got a leak somewhere in your home, and while the professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service are always available to fix plumbing issues you may have, it doesn’t make the reality of those imminent repairs any easier to swallow. They can waste water, leave water damage on your floors and ceilings, and even lead to mold growth. In short, it’s something that should be fixed immediately.

Not knowing where those leaks are coming from can be equally frustrating, so the following is a look at the most common causes of plumbing leaks we see here at Garvin’s Sewer Service:

#1 Broken Seals

When you first buy and install appliances, there are various seals around all the water connections that ensure proper water pressure in the appliances themselves while also keeping drips and leaks from finding their way to your floor. If there’s a broken seal somewhere, you may notice condensation on the appliance or a small puddle near the seal.

#2 Clogs

Everybody has experienced a clog in their drain at some point, but in certain instances those clogs can lead to much bigger problems, such as overflowing or burst pipes. 

#3 Corrosion

The older your home gets, the older the pipes inside the walls are going to get, and sometimes, that could mean corrosion. If you notice discoloration or warping of any visible pipes, it’s possible they need replacement to repair the leaks that either are coming or may be on their way if you don’t correct the issue.

#4 Damaged Joints

The joints that connect pipes together are a common place for water to break through. If the seals in those joints fail, or excess water pressure puts too much stress on the joints, water can leak through.

#5 Extreme Changes in Temperature

There’s nothing any home or business owner can do about the weather, but it is worth knowing that extreme changes in temperature can lead to leaks. Your pipes can expand and contract with the rapid drop or rise in temperature, and in so doing they can experience the sort of damage that causes leaks.

#6 Tree Roots

This is sort of a worst-case scenario because it usually means the professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service may have some digging to do, but tree roots can grow straight through your sewer line, causing standing water in your showers and other drains. If you notice any or all of these things, it’s important to get in touch with a plumber right away. They can clean the line to clear the roots, or even run a sewer scope through the line to discover what is causing the issues.

If you’ve got a leak in your home, Garvin’s Sewer Service offers plumbing leak repair and sewer scope services to ensure that the problem gets fixed immediately. Leaks left alone for too long can cause all sorts of damage to your home, so nipping the issue in the bud before it gets too bad is essential when these sorts of leaks appear. Call today for a Speedy Fast Quote: 303-571-5114.

Why You Can’t Ignore Drainage Issues in Your Restaurant

Why You Can’t Ignore Drainage Issues in Your Restaurant

It’s one thing to experience drainage issues at home, when you have a good sense of where the problem may be located and who may have caused it, but if you’re the owner of a restaurant, that often goes straight out the window. There are so many moving parts in a restaurant business —and so many people who work there dine there—that it can be hard sometimes to determine who or what exactly caused the drainage problem.

Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we have seen our fair share of clogs and leaks in restaurants throughout the Denver area, and unfortunately, many of the most severe problems occur because the business owner, or GM, leaves them untended for too long. Put simply, restaurant owners cannot afford to ignore any drainage issues they have in their building, as the long-term impact can be enough to close down your restaurant business for a time while the fixes are underway.

In an ideal world, business owners would be able to identify what’s wrong with their drainage early enough to identify the problem and call a commercial drain cleaner to make sure everything works as it should. There are several things that could go wrong with a restaurant’s drainage, but the following are the most common:

Grease Clogs

The most dangerous of restaurant drainage issues is grease buildup. For places that sell burgers and fried foods, the grease will be worse, but all restaurants can see grease build up in their drains. The worse this gets, the bigger the drainage problems can be throughout the building. If you’re concerned grease is a problem for you, Garvin’s can help.

Sink Clogs

Grease isn’t the only thing that can get washed down a drain. With food prep comes a lot of food debris, and if employees are washing too much of that debris down the sink, they can clog up, too. Frankly, the sinks in customer restrooms can end up with foreign objects in the pipes, too.

Toilet Problems

Another problem that can come courtesy of customers is the toilets. The biggest difference in your home is that you control what goes into your toilets, yet you have no control over that at your restaurant. Customers can be a little absent-minded when it comes to this, so even if you have signs about where certain types of waste goes, you may still end up with overflowing toilets and clogged plumbing.

Sewer System Issues

Sometimes, the problem is under the surface and has to do with the sewer system as a whole. If you are operating in a new suburb, the sewer lines are likely fine, but restaurants in older buildings might see problems that can only be caused by years of use and can only be fixed by professionals like those at Garvin’s Sewer Service.

Contact an Experienced Plumber

Of course, no matter how well you take care of your kitchen and its drainage system, problems are almost sure to arise. When they do, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Garvin Sewer Service. We’ll make sure small problems don’t turn into bigger problems so your business can run the way it was intended without any unexpected major expenses or, worse, temporary business shutdowns.

What Can a Camera Inspection Tell You About Your Sewer?

What Can a Camera Inspection Tell You About Your Sewer?

Plumbers have been around for as long as plumbing has existed, making it one of the oldest professions in the modern world. Despite that, plumbing has a come a long way, especially in the last few years as technological advancements have helped make it easier than ever to detect any issues in hard-to-see locations such as your sewer line. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we sometimes use sewer inspection cameras to locate sewer line problems, but only in certain situations.

If you’ve ever wondered in what contexts we may need to use these special cameras, the following explains how they work and what they can detect.

How Sewer Inspection Cameras Work

The device itself features a box with a screen attached a thin, snakelike hose that can be deposited into an open drain. Inside the hose are small lights and a fiber optic camera similar in size to those found in smartphones, and as the camera at the end of the cable extends down the pipe, images of what the camera sees shows up on the screen in real time. As the plumber threads the cable through the pipes, it observes any potential obstructions or leaks.

What These Cameras Can Show Us

Perhaps most importantly, these cameras have made it possible for us to detect problems that may be located in a sewer line, which is buried underground and often inaccessible for visual inspection from the outside. In a nutshell, these cameras can show our professionals most cracks, root damage, and corrosion, giving us an easy look at what needs to be fixed and how we could best approach fixing it.

For example, the camera could determine that root damage is what’s causing the issue, so we would know how to use the right kinds of tools to correct the issue. If there’s a clog, we know how to flush it out. There’s a good reason we use these so much at our jobs!

What Cameras Can’t Do

While a sewer camera inspection can catch many problems, there are some things it can’t do. With some old cast iron piping, the image can be hard to interpret sometimes, at which point we may have to use other diagnostic methods to figure out what’s going on.

At the end of the day, though, these cameras are very helpful in diagnosing what’s wrong with a sewer line. They help Garvin’s Sewer Service professionals do their job in a way that allows us to complete jobs quickly and efficiently. These types of modern plumbing tools are good for everybody involved, so don’t be surprised if you see one of our technicians using a sewer camera the next time you call them to your house to correct a sewer line issue.