She Was Told She Needed a Sewer Replacement But Needed This Instead: True Story

Garvin’s Sewer Service is an Englewood based sewer and drain cleaning company serving the Greater Denver area for over 75 years. They don’t replace sewer lines but rather give objective sewer scopes and free second opinions to help Englewood, Denver, and the surround areas’ homeowners peace of mind before spending thousands on sewer line replacements or repairs.

Recently, a Garvin’s Sewer Service representative received this message:

(Thu, Mar 8, 3:39 PM)

SR: “I have been dealing with sewer plumbing issues for the last couple of months. Finally today I had [Sewer Replacement Company X]* come out and camera my sewer line and they found a “dip” in the pipe under my foundation. They will need to remove concrete in my basement to fix it… Needless to say, I’m just a bit overwhelmed a the moment. Do you have a recommendation for a reliable company that can give me an estimate? [Sewer Replacement Company X] wants $5500 and I just don’t have a feel if that’s reasonable or not.”

Garvins: “Did they leave you a copy of the video?”

SR: “No.”

Garvins: “Ok. A dip isn’t a reason to replace a line unless there is a crack or mud. Are you aware of either of those? The fact that they didn’t leave you the video is suspicious because you paid for it and you are entitled to a second opinion based on it.”

SR: “All the camera showed was about a 2 foot space where the line was full of water and waste”

Garvins: “That’s a belly and it can be cleaned for $200. There should be water and waste in there, it’s a sewer. Without mud or a crack, it doesn’t need to be replaced. Call Mitch at 303-571-5114.”

SR: “Seriously?”

Garvins: “Yes. [Sewer Replacement Company X] is a company know to upsell jobs. Sorry. 🙁”

SR: “Thanks – I’m going to see if I can get him to send me a copy of the video too”

Garvins: “Ok. The video will confirm what you really need and Mitch will look at it for free”

(Thu Mar 8, 4:49 PM)

SR: “The good news is I can get the video. The bad news is I have to wait til Tuesday when the tech gets back to the office to email it to me. Of course he’s on vacation until then.”

Garvins: “Lol. See that’s further proof that it’s not critical because they would start the work ASAP if so. It’s good news.”

SR: “Oh ya. Thanks – I needed that perspective.”

(Thu Mar 15, 10:54 AM)

SR: “You were right – it wasn’t nearly as bad as [Sewer Replacement Company X] said. Mitch was wonderful. I feel sooooo much better. I want to take you to dinner soon because you saved me THOUSANDS of dollars. I needed an opinion from someone I knew I could trust – Mitch was at my house a couple of hours educating me and reassuring me it was ok. It’s the best money I’ve spent in a very long time. I am serious about dinner too. 🙂”

 

*This is a fake name to protect the company who likes to sell people things they don’t need in order to make a ton of money. Otherwise, this is a completely true and accurate conversation with a very happy customer. And, she’s not the only one!

Garvin’s Sewer Service has saved Denver area customers hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year by cleaning lines other companies have wanted to replace!

There is a time and place for sewer line replacement, but why not get a FREE second opinion to make sure? Call Garvin’s at 303-571-5114 today.

What Is The Difference Between Plumbing Drain Cleaning and Plumbing Repair Service?

For most homeowners, learning comes through trial and error – there is no way one can prepare for every scenario or be educated on all components of home maintenance, and thankfully, they don’t have to. We trust and hire workers all the time to fill specific needs in our personal and work lives depending on their expertise, and our lack, in any given area.

While how-to videos can be found with a simple search, we don’t always have the time, energy or skill to do everything for ourselves, and that’s when we know we need to call in the professionals. When it comes to plumbing, there are a few specialties that knowing about will help you hire better, so let’s cover that today.

The Difference Between Plumbing Drain Cleaning and Plumbing Repair Service

Plumbers come in two general categories: Drain Cleaning and Plumbing. Plumbers can perform drain cleaning services, but in most cases, it is not their specialty. Some don’t like doing it at all and won’t. Drain cleaning technicians specialize in sewer and drain clogs and do little to no plumbing. Here’s why that matters:

Plumbing

Plumbers require a license. They must pull permits, have advanced training, and may choose to specialize in a variety of areas such as plumbing repair service, remodeling work, new build plumbing structures, gas lines and more.

Plumbers can be commission based or earn hourly rates, and in the Denver metro area, the average, according to Indeed.com is $23.29/hr. for a Journeyman (the most common plumber, sandwiched between apprentice and master plumber).

Drain Cleaning

Drain cleaning technicians are not required to have a license in Denver. They aren’t able to pull permits, but they do have advanced training on drain cleaning techniques and tools. They don’t do repair work, remodeling work, gas lines or any other responsibilities of a plumber unless they are training to be one as an apprentice (or have chosen to specialize in sewers and drains as a plumber).

Their pay scale can also be commissioned or hourly, but is typically at a lower rate than plumbers. This is important to note as a homeowner because if you experience a clogged drain or sewer line, it is more affordable and more efficient to hire a drain cleaning technician over a plumber (in our opinion).

“If you experience a clogged drain or sewer line, it is more affordable and more efficient to hire a drain cleaning technician over a plumber”

Sewer Scope

Plumbers, drain cleaning technicians, and sewer scope professionals can perform a sewer scope or video sewer inspection. They are specifically trained to scope a line and access the information they receive from the inspection. If licensed to do so, they can quote you for a sewer line replacement, or they may refer you to a third party.

Garvin’s Sewer Service has been serving the Greater Denver and Boulder resident’s home and business plumbing drain cleaning needs for over 75 years! In order to best meet the needs of our customers, we also offer sewer scope and plumbing repair service.

Sewer Cleaning in Denver – What Has Changed and Why It Matters

Sewer cleaning in Denver may not be the most exciting topic, but it is interesting to learn about how it started and where it is now, because it can determine how you spend your hard-earned money. And money is an exciting topic, especially when we are saving it!

Sewer Cleaning in Denver

Did you know Garvin’s was the first sewer cleaning company in Denver? It’s true! Russell P. Garvin franchised the first sewer and drain cleaning company in the area in 1940. Fifty years later, he separated from that franchise because he believed it better served his customers to not pass on high marketing costs associated with it, birthing Garvin’s Sewer Service. Russell has long passed, but his namesake company remains.

Imagine Denver in 1940

 

Brown Palace Circa 1935-1940 © HistoricalFindings

Twenty years before the Denver Bronco’s came about and only fifty years after the Brown Palace was built, Garvin’s came to be. It was just after WWII, and the Great Depression was coming to an end.

“Denver’s expansion during the 1940s “was the greatest growth since the 1880s,” said [historian Tom] Noel. “Before that, it had just grown 30,000 or 40,000 people. It was the first big boom since the 1880s gold rush. There was even more dramatic growth in the suburbs…'” Source: Denver Post

How Has Sewer Cleaning Changed?

In 1940, Garvin’s used a truck mounted sewer cleaning machine that was a tightly wound cable with a bladed end that would be manually fed into a sewer line to spin inside the pipe, cutting away debris and pushing it through to the larger city main lines or irrigation ditches.

Today, the same technology is used, but on much smaller units. This is a tried and true method that still works, so Garvin’s continues to rely on it.

Additional technologies have been developed through the years that include water jetting, which is recommended for commercial use only. Smaller tools, such as an auger, are used for minor lines and clogs such as toilets, but are based on the same cable-type system. Video sewer inspections don’t clean lines, but they show the condition of lines and are ideal for discovering problem areas for potential cleaning or sewer line replacement.

Professional drain and sewer cleaning technicians know when to use which tools for the job at hand. Denver’s Garvin’s Sewer Service uses the right equipment with the right methods to give you the sewer and drain cleaning services you need to get the job done right the first time. Effective, reliable, and time-honored, we look forward to serving you!

Sewer Replacement: Should You Invest or Not?

With sewer replacement costs in the tens of thousands of dollars, you may be wondering if it is worth the investment. Of course, on first thought you may feel you have no choice, it is after all, your sewer, the system that allows sewage waste to leave your home. But what you don’t know can hurt you and that’s why we are digging deep (pun intended) to get you the truth.

Do I Really Need a Sewer Replacement?

Have you ever had the horrible experience of having a doctor tell you that you needed a surgery? Did it seem surreal to happen? Typically, in such a case, especially if we are skeptical, or want to determine if there are other options, we will get a second, or even third (or more) opinion. This would be considered by most to be sound advice.

However, when it comes to sewer replacement options, we tend to believe the first person who tells us we need it. Why? Maybe we are scared of spending more time, and/or more money to get a second (or third) opinion. What you may not know however, is that your local sewer and water department, and Garvin’s Sewer Service, give free second looks at your sewer scope video.

This second opinion can help you determine if you truly need a sewer replacement or if there is another option, such as sewer line cleaning. (in fact, Garvin’s has saved their customers over $400,000 in sewer replacement costs by cleaning lines rather than doing unneeded repairs).

Should I Invest in a Sewer Line Replacement?

This has a very simple answer: if you plan to live in the house, yes. If you plan to sell the house, you will likely also need to do the sewer line replacement, or give an allowance for the new owners to do so. It is also possible that you will be approached by the city and required to make repairs, as this Denver Post Sewer Replacement article lays out.

Sewer line replacements are critical, however you do have options depending on your budget, severity, ground conditions and more. Just as you will want a second opinion on whether or not you need a sewer replacement, you will want opinions on the best options.

It’s Ironic But…

Despite our name, Garvin’s Sewer Service doesn’t provide sewer replacement services, but we find many people value our approach to preventative maintenance and cleaning sewers that are still functioning rather than replacing them. Our sewer scope inspections prevent home buyers from getting stuck with a big mess, and our free second opinions save homeowners hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. We also know the best sewer repair companies in Denver and are happy to refer them, so give us a call today!

What Homeowners Need To Know About Plumbing Repair Service in Denver

Colorado has experienced an unprecedented amount of residential and business growth in the last several years. In fact, according to the Denver Post, Colorado’s population increased by over 100,000 last year. That means chances are if you are reading this, you may be a new Denver resident.

So, as Denver’s oldest drain and sewer company, Garvin’s wanted to give you some pointers on plumbing and plumbing repair service in the area.

Top 5 Things to Know About Denver’s Plumbing

  1. Most residential homes in the area have clay sewer lines. This means they can have roots growing in them and this usually happens year-round due to our beautiful climate. Roots in the line can cause blockages, so most homeowners choose to call a plumbing repair service to clean their sewer lines every 6 months to 2 years depending on the trees in the area. Because we have a dry climate, trees and plants look for food (water and fertilizer) which is readily found in our sewer lines.
  2. Sewer line inspections are important in Real Estate dealings. While most all sewer lines are in good shape, there are still a few rouge sewer lines made with the wrong materials (such as Orangeburg), or have cracked due to ground settling. When you buy a home, insist on a sewer camera inspection. Garvin’s can perform this service, but if you hire another plumbing repair service, Garvin’s is happy to offer a FREE second look at the video to offer our suggestions. Often we find potential homeowners are told to replace a sewer line ($$$$) when a cleaning is sufficient ($$).
  3. Denver is a rather dry area and sump pumps are rarely used here, however with more recent flooding due to burn scars and heavier than usual rain, some homeowners have them installed or are considering them. Many people from humid areas understand sump pumps, but for us plumbing repair service providers in Denver, the volume of interest is new to us.
  4. Some areas of town, especially Commerce City, Denver and Englewood, are known to have hard water. Hard water tends to leave a residue on dishes and appliances. We suggest water filters rather than water softeners. We have great Rocky Mountain water, but some of it can benefit from filtering for a better feel, performance and taste. Minerals can develop in your water heater as well, shortening its lifespan, so consider a water heater flush periodically.

New to the area and have questions about your plumbing? Garvin’s Sewer Service has been serving the Greater Denver homeowner’s plumbing and sewer needs for over 75 years. Give us a call today for a quote or to learn more at 303-571-5114.

Why don’t emergency plumbing service plumbers quote the price over the phone?

If you have ever been in the position to hire emergency plumbing services, you likely have made several calls to find out just how much it will cost. You likely have heard:

“We don’t quote over the phone”

Some emergency plumbing contractors refuse to quote any prices over the phone. They usually will charge a nominal fee, or even offer it free, to come to your home and provide a quote.

Pro: You will have a plumber onsite to go ahead and complete the work after they offer a quote. The plumbers that charge a fee are really just covering their costs to come out and provide a quote. Their quotes are likely more accurate than those who quote the job unseen. A quality plumber will offer a fair price and apply the fee towards the work to be done.

Con: Their quote may be high, and you may not be sure if it is appropriate. Plumbing contractors can have a large range, based on some of the factors we list below. If you don’t go forward with the quote, you will be out the service call fee they charged to come out and quote you.

Our suggestion: Check reviews online to see if they are reputable and how many people move forward with the quote after it is given. If you have a hard time saying no to someone’s face, this is probably not a good option for you.

“We charge more on nights and weekends”

Emergency plumbing service includes work done on nights and weekends in most cases, and there is a legitimate reason why. But, before you pay the higher expense, you should know when it makes sense.

Pro: Emergency plumbers can be to you quickly to help reduce further damage from happening to your property. In some cases you can do this yourself by turning off your main water supply or not using your appliances, including toilets, sinks or showers. A great solution to limit further damage, but…

Con: Sometimes all an emergency plumber can do is make a temporary fix until regular business hours. This is because if they don’t have the needed parts in their truck stock (with over 10k plumbing parts on the market, this is very possible), they will need to obtain them and supply houses aren’t open afterhours. In extreme emergencies, the supplier will “open their store” for a premium, which is passed onto you in higher prices.

In the case of sewer line back-ups, as opposed to water line leaks, very little, if any, parts are required, which makes emergency plumbing service much more reasonable. Garvin’s offers two departments: Sewer and Drain, and Plumbing. The Sewer and Drain Department never charges emergency plumbing service charges because their work can be started and completed without access to a supply house.

Our suggestion: Know what service you need and determine what you can do to mitigate the problems so you can get it truly resolved during business hours. If sewer or drain related, contact a company who can provide emergency drain cleaning without the extra charge.

If you are ever in the need for emergency plumbing services in the Greater Denver or Boulder areas, Garvin’s Sewer Service is here to help with your sewer and drain problems 24/7/365 with no extra charges. Call anytime to get fast service at 303-571-5114.

Plumbing Contractors Denver: 3 Things to Ask Before Hiring One

Plumbing Contractors are one of the BBB’s most complained about industries. Plumbers, along with auto mechanics are doing a ton of business each and every day of the year. Consider how many homes with running water and sewer, or for that matter, how many cars are on the road in Denver, and it’s easy to see how many customers are being served every day by a technician in either industry.

For every complaint, hopefully then, there are thousands of customers who are happy. So how can you ensure you will be one of the satisfied customers of one of the many plumbing contractors in Denver? Of course, there is never a guarantee in the service industry, as mistakes happen, but there are a few clues to look for in order to improve the chances of success.

When shopping for Plumbing Contractors in Denver, ask these questions:

How long have they been in business?

Longevity shows a variety of information- how they run business, how they deal with customers, the amount of their customer retention and their reliability. After all, if a business isn’t run well and/or doesn’t do right by their customers, they will not last in business. We knew of a very short lived plumbing company who had more complaints than accolades, so longevity is a measure of a quality plumbing contractor.

How is their reputation?

With today’s online research, you can learn nearly everything about a company- if they have a presence. That online presence should include information found on the BBB, and other review sites such as Yelp, or even Facebook Reviews, for additional confirmation of good reputation that are unsolicited and unpaid. Paid reviews are considered ads- so look for unsolicited and objective reviews. Read the content to determine if the review is valid (for example they didn’t receive one star because the plumber didn’t pet their cat or five stars because an employee wrote the review).

What are their policies around customer service?

Do they offer service guarantees and are clear about expectations or is everything done “on a handshake”? Reputable plumbing contractors will have quotes and invoices in writing and communicate what they will be doing before work begins. Not all plumbing companies will quote pricing over the phone, but at least when the job is seen, a good faith estimate should be given. If they can’t give you a price range or timeline, they are likely not the best plumbing contractors for you.

 

Do you have questions about Plumbing Contractors, the work they provide or how the process of hiring one works? Garvin’s Sewer Service has been serving Greater Denver and Boulder homeowners since 1940 and is happy to answer your questions. We have an A+ rating with the BBB, even after all these years! Please give us a call at 303-571-5114 any time, day or night, to speak to an employee who can answer your questions.

Do I Need a Sewer Camera Inspection After a Cleaning?

Some drain cleaning companies offer a sewer camera inspection service after cleaning your sewer line. The truth is that in order to be 100% sure the line is clear of all roots, only a sewer camera inspection can see inside the line and make that determination. This does add an additional expense however, and is often unneeded, unless there is a problem or recurring problem with the line. Typically, you know that the line is clear if the following conditions are met:

 

Right Size Blades

Blades are placed on the end of the drain cleaning machine and spin along the full circumference of the sewer line in order to clear it. If 3” blades are used on a 4” pipe, it is likely the roots won’t be fully cleaned out of the line.

Strong Cable

The drain cleaning machine uses a tightly wound cable fed through the line to push the blades through. If the cable is kinked or weak, it will likely miss spots of roots. The longer the cable is threaded through the sewer line, the more weak it becomes.

For example, it will be stronger at 70 feet than at 120 feet. Therefore if you have a long sewer line, it could benefit you to install a clean out mid-line which will allow the drain cleaning machine to reach further with more strength. This is also why a drain cleaner may choose to pull a toilet rather than use another access point- it may allow them to get closer to the clog or further down the line.

Observable Drainage

If the line drains, it means that the blockage has been resolved. Again, because the line isn’t visible without the sewer camera inspection, the main clog may have been pushed through, but can get caught further down the line, or the same problem area can build up again and re-clog.

Garvin’s warranties their work because we understand this happens at times. However, if you are experiencing ongoing problems, a sewer camera inspection may be the best option in determining the cause.

Good Pipe Condition

It is often we see older sewer pipes, or pipes in remodeled homes that aren’t in the best condition. This means they could transition from cast iron pipes to clay ones, have multiple bends or dips or even have damage. The pipe condition can cause roots to not be fully cleared in the line. Every bend and pipe material change can cause a problem for the cleaning machines.

 

If root regrowth in your sewer line is causing you trouble, contact us today to learn about sewer camera inspection options and to have your line 100% cleaned of roots by our experienced drain cleaning technicians. We pride ourselves on using the right blades, best cable, industry expert knowledge and tools to get you the best results, and we stand behind our work with our 90 day service guarantee (in most cases).

Ask for more information when you call. We look forward to serving your sewer camera inspection and drain cleaning needs!

Why Not Let Your Plumber Upgrade Your Fixtures?

feature-image_toi1200x628Not every plumbing service is about fixing your freshwater pipes or performing drain cleaning. Sometimes it’s about installing new fixtures in homes, and our plumbers are more than up to the challenge.

Of course, the reasons people replace these parts of their home can vary, depending on the fixture at hand. Let’s take a look at why people are having us replace the water-using devices in their homes.

Kitchen Faucets

Dishwashers are used after a meal, as is the kitchen sink for washing those items that can only be hand washed. But kitchen sinks are also used extensively before a meal. Think about all of the ways you use your kitchen sink. Boil a pot of spaghetti and you have to fill a large pot. Cut up some chicken and you need to wash your hands thoroughly. Grab vegetables from the crisper and you need to wash them before you use them in a meal. Kitchen sinks are used constantly, and that’s why they eventually give out. Your local plumber can help install one that’s even better than the last.

Of course, there are other advantages to having a kitchen faucet replaced. First of all, faucets of today are considerably more water-efficient than those from just 20 years ago, so you can save water by replacing them. You’ll also be upgrading to a more modern design, which can spruce up your kitchen.

When you upgrade, you can also get features that you covet when you visit other people’s homes. These include versions with pull-out nozzles so that you can more easily direct the spray and clean the sink. Many of these faucets also have at least two settings for the stream of water that is released, such as spray (for washing dishes) and normal (for filling glasses of water).

Oh, and let’s not forget another cool feature you can look for: hands-free faucets! While these have been popular in public restrooms for years, they’re making their way into kitchen so that you don’t have to grab a handle with germ-laden hands in order to turn them on (remember that chicken you were cutting up earlier?). Some use sensors, while others turn on simply by touching the back of your hand to the faucet.

Bathroom Faucets

When you think about the amount of time you spend at your bathroom faucet, it’s no surprise that it might wear out faster than some other fixtures. After all, you use your master bathroom sink(s) every time you use the toilet, but then you have to add to that the wear and tear from face washing, teeth brushing, and washing your hands whenever they get dirty.

Of course, there’s also the style that comes into play. Many people wait until remodeling their bathroom to call a plumber to replace their sink faucets, but sometimes a simple change can liven up a bathroom and make it feel new again. This second option is certainly the cheaper option!

Shower Heads

Shower heads don’t usually interest people as much as a beautiful new faucet does; there’s just not a much put into their design, and they’re hidden from most guests eyes.

But let’s take a look at what new ones can offer. First of all there are the low-flow shower heads that we mentioned in our water savings blog. Older shower heads can us up to 5.5 gallons of water per minute, but today’s showerheads can’t legally exceed 2.5 gallons per minute. Because of the effectiveness of low-flow models, you’ll get just as clean and use less water.

But what if you want a really fancy shower head? What if you’re looking for a shower head that beats all the others? You might be interested in a shower panel. Shower panels don’t just spray from an angle above your head, but instead spray you from overhead and all along your body down to you navel. When you have a regular shower head, you’re only getting hit by the water from one angle, so there’s always that cold spot on some part of your body. But with a shower panel you’re being hit by warm water in more spots and, in most cases, from directly overhead. You’ll be warmer than ever!

Oh, and did we mention that they’re also water efficient? They have to be, as they’re held to the same 2.5 gallon-per-minute standards of any new shower head. They simply direct the water more effectively before it heads down the drain.

Here’s the great thing about having a showerhead that uses less water: when you use less water, you have to heat less water, and that means you’re not only helping on your water bill but also on your natural gas bill. You can keep that Xcel Energy bill lower and reduce stress on your water heater at the same time.

side-image_toiToilets

There are five good reasons why people call their local plumber to replace their toilets.

It’s not a low-flow: We’re all charged with using less water, and one way to do that is to reduce your gallons-per-flush. If your house was built before 1994, it’s very likely that you’re using too much water in your flushes. Call a plumbing company and you can start saving water and money right away.

If it’s an early low-flow: The United States jumped on the low-flow toilet bandwagon in 1994, and such water efficiency has saved billions of gallons of freshwater. Unfortunately, the toilet industry wasn’t quite up speed on a different type of efficiency: solid waste removal. Solid waste would often take multiple flushes to send on its way, negating the water savings. But toilet design got better, and today’s toilets are much better at doing their job. But if your house was built around 1994-1996 and you don’t think it works as efficiently as it should, you local plumber can replace your toilets with ones that move things along. (Oh, and they’re even more water efficient than they were back then.)

If it’s out of style: You know what? Toilets go out of style. Even the basic design changes over the decades, and colors do too. Some people call a plumbing company to change their toilets because they’d rather have one that’s attached to the wall instead of the floor, making it easier to clean underneath.

It’s Broken: Most homes are built with fair-at-best toilets. The homebuilder isn’t going to install the best, because they’re trying to save money. A few years later, toilets start to give out. Some people fight these cheap toilets for years. Seal rings disintegrate, chains break, float heads get misaligned and lead to perpetual leaks. So they take a trip to Home Depot and grab the part, only to have something else go wrong with it in a few months. After a while, it simply isn’t worth it anymore, and that’s when they give a plumbing contractor a call to have a replacement toilet installed.

It’s Dirty: Okay, most people don’t replace their toilets because they’re dirty. But after a decade or more, the calcium deposits (scale) starts to build up and make the toilet look pretty bad. If you’re not having any luck in cleaning it and it’s embarrassing when you have guests over, be sure to call a local plumber and we’ll replace your toilet. At the same time you’ll be improving your water efficiency and getting a new toilet that won’t need repair nearly as soon!

Phew, that was some blog! But there’s a lot to say about the reasons that people call their local plumber to replace certain parts of the bathrooms and kitchens. Whether you’re replacing all of them during a remodel and need extensive plumbing contractor work, or if you simply need that single fixture changed out, Garvins’ is ready to help. Contact us for all of your plumbing services!

 

 

 

Happy Holidays! Here’s What Can Go Wrong With Your Plumbing!

feature-image_vacay1200x628Here we are just a couple of weeks away from the many festive holidays of December. Maybe you’ve hung lights, perhaps invited some sort of tree into your home for a few weeks. If you’re like us, you’re running around trying to get those last minute items for everyone on your list.

Of course, with the holidays comes travel, whether it’s you heading out of DIA or people you’ll be hosting in your home. Unfortunately, with the winter holidays (and winter in general) comes all sorts of plumbing problems that many people aren’t even ready for. After all, there’s so much to do! Thinking about plumbing is often at the far back-left of people’s minds, right between the is-it-New-Year’s-Eve-already? incredulity and the soon-to-be-arriving fear of what to do on Valentine’s Day.

Here are a few things that might show up with plumbing in December. If you have problems, be sure to give your local plumbers a call…but we’d rather you didn’t have problems at all!

If You’re Sticking Around…

If you’re sticking around for the holidays, chances are you’ll be cooking some big meals. And there’s also a good chance that you’ll be having lots of people over using your plumbing.

Avoid Drain Clogs

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…and the goose fat can clog up your drains. Turkey fat, pig fat, beef fat, and chicken fat can all do the same thing. As we mentioned in our Thanksgiving blog, you shouldn’t be sending anything fatty down the drain, including grease, fats, and oils. They solidify quickly and will lead to drain cleaning…and you certainly don’t want to have to stop cooking and visiting just to deal with a clogged drain.

Also, there are those food items that just shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal or down the drain. Pumpkin parts, potato peels, asparagus ends…all of these should be heading into the trash (or better yet the garbage disposal).

Extra People

Whenever you have extra people over, you’re going to be putting a bigger strain on your plumbing system. They’ll be flushing more often, and maybe flushing more than they should. If you currently have trouble with your plumbing, give your local plumber a call and we’ll perform drain cleaning service before they get there. You’ll be saying goodbye to years of gunk that are built up in your sewer system, and you’ll get to enjoy the benefits for years to come. We can also fix your toilet if it isn’t working properly. After all, if it’s not flushing correctly, it could lead to a lot of embarrassment for your guest and for you around the Christmas holiday.

side-image_vacayIf You’re Heading Away…

If you’re leaving for the holidays, you don’t have to worry about people coming in and clogging your toilets with too much toilet paper, or your mom trying to grind ham bones in the garbage disposal. But leaving for the holidays brings about its own problems. Let’s take a look at how you can avoid calling a plumbing company this December.

Protect Your Pipes

We wrote an entire blog about protecting your pipes during the winter, so be sure you click on that link and find out how to prevent broken pipes due to freezing. You’ll want to leave the furnace at above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and expose as many pipes to room temperature air as much as possible. Opening up cabinetry under sinks is the first step in doing so.

Also, it’s probably a good idea to have a friend on call in case the temperatures are predicted to plummet. You can have them leave a slow drip going in your sink to keep the water moving. Better yet, just have them turn up the heat overnight!

Protect Your Home

If you’re leaving for a few days or a few weeks, make sure that you take some “anti-burglary” steps to protect your home. Buy light timers, have a friend come check on things, and make sure you lock everything up before you leave

Wait, what does “protecting your home from theft” have to do with your plumbing? Well, there are many movies that run on a constant loop on TV during the holidays, and one of them is Home Alone. As you might remember, one of the criminals in that movie has a weird inclination to burgle a home and then stuff a rag in the sink, turn on the water, and cause extensive water damage. And, as it turns out, there have been copycats in real life who do the same thing. Are the chances that great that it will happen to you? No. Are some people just destructive jerks? Absolutely!

The holidays can be a great time, but they can also lead to big plumbing problems. Stop these problems before they start with a little prevention. And if something does go wrong, be sure to contact Garvin’s!