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.

9 Items That Should Never Go Down the Drain

9 Items That Should Never Go Down the Drain

Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we get calls from homeowners all the time because they have a clogged drain, and while there absolutely are times when this happens for reasons well beyond the homeowner’s control, there also are entirely too many times when that call to their commercial drain cleaning in Englewood could’ve been avoided. How? By simply knowing what can and cannot go down a drain.

Whether it’s the toilet, the kitchen sink, or a laundry room basin, the important thing to remember here is that your home’s plumbing system is designed to handle liquids and very few approved flushable solids like toilet paper.

Despite this rule of thumb, we often see certain types of solids dumped down the drain, and to help our customers avoid an emergency plumbing call in the future, we’ve assembled a list of those items here:

#1 Coffee Grounds

They seem small enough that they should just flush away like any liquid would, but they actually are one of the most common offenders of slow-building clogs in kitchen sinks.

#2 Eggshells

Ground-up eggshells can cause exactly the same type of problem. It’s just as easy to throw them away into the garbage can or to use them as compost if you’ve got a garden.

#3 Oil or Grease

Used oil or grease may seem liquid enough to dump down the drain when it’s still hot, but grease does eventually cool off and become more of a solid inside your pipes. Your best bet is to run this grease into an old jar or can, let it cool and harden, then throw it away in the trash.

#4 Produce Stickers

Even a little bit of adhesive on the backs of those stickers can add to drain clogs. They’re better off in the garbage, like all the other solid items on this list.

#5 Cotton Balls

Another big problem is when people flush solid items down the toilet, including cotton balls (and dental floss for that matter). They don’t dissolve like toilet paper does, which makes them more prone to cause clogs in your toilet.

#6 Paper Towels

Paper towels and wipes are the same way. They may look a lot like toilet paper, but they’re made to be thicker and more durable, which means they won’t disintegrate in your water like TP does.

#7 Condoms

Rubber is not biodegradable, which means these have no business being flushed town toilets. Keeping this type of garbage out of the water supply is important, so just throw them away instead.

#8 Feminine Hygiene Products

Flushing feminine hygiene products may feel like the fastest, most sanitary way to dispose of them, but like the other items listed above, they do not dissolve into the water, which makes them a prime candidate for causing issues with drains, even though they say they are flushable.

#9 Household Chemicals

Household cleaners, car fluids, and even paint are items that people often wash down drains, but we would caution against all of them. Toxic chemicals are never great for the water supply, so stick to all-natural cleaners or find safer ways to dispose of your household chemicals.

Call An Emergency Plumber

Whether you’ve flushed these items down your drain or not, it’s possible you’ll find yourself in need of a drain cleaning plumber in Englewood, and the professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service are happy to help. Do your best to keep these items out of your drains, but if an emergency does ever arise, we’ll be here to help return your plumbing functionality back to normal.

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!

Don’t Have Toilet Paper? Do THIS, not THAT

Don’t Have Toilet Paper? Do THIS, not THAT

Well, as the Center for Disease Control is asking people to wash their hands, and stay home if they are showing signs of sickness, it seems that correlates to hoarding toilet paper and masks. While POTUS Trump puts a travel ban on Europe, we see people stealing gloves, and hand sanitizer from hospitals.

While this doesn’t quite seem logical, it is our reality today, and in a measure to continue to offer the valuable advice you have come to expect from Garvin’s Sewer Service, we want to give alternates for toilet paper in a THIS not THAT fashion:

Bidet NOT Toilet Paper

Europeans have made bidets popular, but we are seeing more and more installed in the states, as well as urinals in private homes (previously they were reserved for commercial use.) However, homeowners are wanting convenience and less water (and paper use) associated with full flush toilets, especially when they are only urinating.

Reusable Cloths NOT Flushable Wipes

While hygiene wipes say they are flushable, we find them clogging sewer lines all the time. They just don’t break down like toilet paper does. While they are ok for occasional use, they shouldn’t be used on a regular basis.

If you want to be a true hippie, use fabric scraps similar to cloth diapers made from 100% cotton t-shirts or flannel. Keep them in a bin and wash them in hot water before reusing them.

Trash NOT Toilet

If you are really out of toilet paper, you can use napkins, paper towel or tissue, but unless you are doing a solid waste #2, throw these in the trash rather than the toilet to prevent clogs. Like wipes, stronger napkins, paper towels and even facial tissue isn’t designed to break down as quickly or easily as toilet paper, so should only be flushed in low quantities. 

Flush more often if you are using these products and consider a preventative maintenance sewer cleaning to help push through any clogs and cut any roots out of the line that could catch the debris and hold it in place. 

If we can help you prevent clogs, in your sewer or toilet, give us a call at 303-571-5114 for same day service.

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.

To flush or not to flush: How will it affect my need for drain cleaning?

dreamstime_xxl_10290097To flush or not to flush – UPDATED: what belongs in your trash and NOT your sewer. Follow this advice and you won’t need drain cleaning from a professional as often.

1.       Unwanted medications.  Well, in our drug happy world, the thought of unwanted medication may seem confusing. I mean, we even keep prescriptions past their due dates as our “just in case” pills (as though we can’t get a new prescription at the drop of a hat). When flushed, some of these medications can end up in our waterways. We don’t want to just haphazardly throw them out though either, as we have social concerns about them ending up in the hands of a youngster or dumpster diver. Your best bet? Dispose of them in ashes, old coffee grounds, kitty litter or other like items. It’s kinda like adding a little bit of wood alcohol to rubbing alcohol so we don’t drink it. What can you add to the medications to make them worthless?

2.       Grease. We aren’t talking John Travolta here, but we are talking his hair. Grease from meat fat, & cooked foods (even skin & hair products) can build up on the sides of your pipes just like they do on the arteries of your heart. Don’t think that trick of running hot water and turning on your disposal while you dump it down the sink drain helps either. It’s the plumbing equivalent of washing a hamburger down with a beer; it may clear your throat, but the damage comes later down the line.

3.       Hair. Ok, so my teenage daughters with their long, straight hair don’t care that their hair daily is being accumulated in and around the sink as they brush it, down the shower drain as they wash and color it. Check your stoppers frequently and clear them out before they form that clog that slips down the pipe and starts growing. I won’t leave out the extra hairy man either. You should do it too, sir.

4.       Tampons. Gross, I know, to talk about. Ladies, they say they are flushable, but not in your house! Please wrap all used feminine products in toilet paper and dispose of them in the trash.  Done. One of the biggest clog culprits!

5.       Chemical drain-cleaning products & bleach. I have pictures of my technicians with facial and arm burns from cleaning a line that a person tried to unclog with a toxic LIQUID sold at grocery & home stores. Would you use acid to dissolve food lodged in someone’s esophagus?! I hope not. Bleach kills critical bacteria that breakdowns your waste and both can cause line corrosion over time as well.

6.      “Flushable” Wipes. While hygiene wipes say they are flushable, we find them clogging sewer lines all the time. They don’t break down like toilet paper does. While they are ok for occasional use, they shouldn’t be used on a regular basis.

Drain cleaning, as we perform it, is a safe, natural solution for clearing unwanted matter out of your sewer system. If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to call.

Garvin’s Sewer Service, Denver (303) 571-5114

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.