The Miracle of Modern Plumbing

The Miracle of Modern Plumbing

We hope you had a restful Labor Day! Perhaps you even went camping? There’s nothing like a fun stint in the woods with family and friends to celebrate the holiday. 

Until you encounter a pit toilet or a “Luggable Loo” and then, suddenly, you really appreciate home and… plumbing. 

In honor of this time of year when we take a rest from toil, let’s quickly survey the history of one of our most incredible labor-saving systems—modern plumbing. 

Before we begin, if you play Scrabble, take notes. The story of plumbing is full of cool words that might just pump up your score.

Persia

Ancient Iranians or Persians built Qanats or Kariz to supply their communities with fresh water. Qanats were constructed of vertical channels dug from the surface of hillsides deep into the earth and connected to a horizontal channel engineered to carry water where it was most needed. The Persians connected the qanats to Ab Abnars or big, tower-like cisterns to hold water. Many quanats are still in use today.

Ancient Iranians understood that removing waste water from their communities helped their people to thrive. They conceived systems for sanitation in the city of Zabol which is on the border of modern Afghanistan.

China

The Chinese are known for inventing paper and noodles. But, few people know that the Chinese dug deep, complicated wells for drinking water up to 7000 years ago! 

The ancient Chinese not only knew how to establish long-lasting sources of water, they knew they needed to take care of them. The I-Ching, an important Chinese text written in 1000 BCE, advises readers how to maintain and protect sources of drinking water. Archaeologists found evidence of plumbing from the first imperial dynasty which dates to 221 BCE.

Pakistan and Northern India

Modern-day Pakistan and Northern India comprised the Indus Valley in ancient times. In the city of Lothal in the valley, people had their own indoor covered toilets which were routinely emptied and cleaned as early as 2350 BCE. Nearby cities contained bath houses which were emptied into pipes that flowed into common drains. 

In what is now Pakistan, houses drew water from wells and drained waste water into covered drains in the street.

Greece

Travel to Knossos today on the Island of Crete and you can still see the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization. The paintings etched on the walls there look slightly Egyptian and their colors are still vivid.  Minoans were some of the first people to use underground clay pipes for carrying and eliminating waste water. Later, Cretans engineered some of the first flush toilets on Earth. 

A Greek inventor named Heron invented a system in 62 ACE to put water under pressure and use it to fight fires in Alexandria, Greece, a city of over 5 million people desperately in need of such ingenuity.

Rome

The ancient Romans built an incredible system for sanitation called the Cloaca Maxima which drained overflow water around Rome into the Tiber River. They built public toilets (from photos, they look like stone, open-air pit toilets) over the Cloaca Maxima and the sewage was carried away by the river. 

The Romans also developed a huge, intricate system of aqua ducts that carried water into the city from the nearby mountains. Parts of the aqua ducts and associated piping were constructed from clay, stone and lead. In fact, our modern word “plumbing” comes from the Latin word for “lead,” plumbum

Some historians theorized that the fall of the Roman Empire started after much of the city was retrofit with lead pipes. However recent scientists think that the Roman water was so full of calcium it formed a protective layer inside the pipes and the Roman water was never in full contact with lead.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, cleanliness rituals were often tied to religious or philosophical practices. In Nepal, constructing a drinking fountain for others to use was considered a virtuous act. The Nepalese built a drinking water system made of hiti, or stone fountains that funneled water from deep underground sources, as early as 550 ACE. 

As far back as the 7th century, Islamic purity practices required ritual washing and bathing which fostered an entire industry to build bath houses throughout nations that practiced Islam.

Europeans in the Middle Ages were not as concerned with cleanliness or hygiene. Waste water sometimes ran in open channels down the middle of streets. This lack of fastidiousness and poor sanitation led to the spread of the Black Plague. The first closed European sewer wasn’t constructed until 1370 ACE. 

In the 16th century, Sir John Harington of England invented his version of the flush toilet for Queen Elizabeth I and waste from the device sluiced into a cesspool. Lucky Sir John—many people in the English speaking world still refer to him when Mother Nature calls.

Modern Era

By the year 1535, politicians began to enact legislation in England to keep the central river in London, the Thames, free of waste. The legislation was ignored and construction of an actual sewer system didn’t begin until the mid-to late-1800’s, meanwhile cholera ravaged London in a series of epidemics.

By the end of the 19th century, many large cities in Europe and the U.S. established underground sewer systems. Studies in the UK and Germany led to an understanding that disease could be transmitted by contaminated water and eliminated by water treatment and filtration.

Today modern water and sewage pipes are made not from wood, stone and lead, but of steel, copper and plastic. The modern materials are more durable and easier to install than their ancient counterparts. 

Galvanized steel pipe can last up to 50 years though it can sometimes corrode. Copper pipe is clean and efficient, but extremely expensive today. Plastic piping comes in seven different varieties for various uses from PVC to PEX-AI-PEX which contains a layer of aluminum between layers of plastic. 

In the United States, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates sewer utilities and monitors the safety of drinking water. Our nation passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 which improved the treatment of waste and began to protect our natural water resources. We passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 to monitor major contaminants in our drinking water. 

At Garvins, we care about you, your water and your sewer system. We do sewer cleaning, drain cleaning, sewer camera inspection and preventative maintenance. Contact us today for a Speedy Fast Quote or call us anytime.


Sources:

History of water supply and sanitation – Wikipedia
https://www.hydratelife.org/the-qanat-an-ancient-technology-still-delivering-water-today/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumbing
Water supply and sanitation in the United States – Wikipedia

 

 

Love your plumbing and your sewer line and they will love you back

Love your plumbing and your sewer line and they will love you back

Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter “M.”

Give us an “M,” give us an “A,” give us an “I”… ok this will take forever. M A I N T E N A N C E is today’s featured “M” word. Many of us MOAN about MAINTENANCE. It’s MIGHTY easy to put off. 

It can also be a bit MYSTERIOUS: What do you do, when and how often? We’ll talk about that.

Mainly, we’ll point out why regular plumbing maintenance is all about MAD LOVE. Read on! 

Think like a pipe

If you were a water pipe, you would be proud of your job. You would carry clean water to toilet tanks, provide showers, fill the spaghetti pot and keep the family pooch from getting parched. 

As a pipe you might get frustrated if all that water was wasted, making the toilet run, the washing machine leak or the exterior hose drip. 

Maintenance is all about making your pipes, fittings and connections happy. They’re unseen, but they work hard. How can you love your pipes?

  • Regularly test for leaking and running toilets.
  • Cozy up under your sink, tub or swamp cooler to observe the pipes there. 
  • Take a good look at your water heater. 
  • Examine outside connections and fittings.

Any drips or pooling water? You may need some help.

Stay alert for changes in water pressure too. Changing water pressure can be caused by leaks, malfunctioning valves and more.  

Caring for your pipes means caring for your family. We recommend you run plumbing spot checks each year or every other year depending on the age of your house. 

Garvin’s of Englewood can help you remember routine maintenance if you forget, or perform the maintenance for you. Cared for plumbing works well, serves you better and can protect your house from future damage.

Salute the swirl

Say you find yourself sleepily showering in the morning. Water collects around your ankles, but there isn’t a stopper holding the water there. You want to ignore the pool and simply go to work, letting the water slowly drain out over time. But, you really shouldn’t. Something is wrong. 

Your tub or shower drain should have a good, strong swirl when you shower or let the water out. Water shouldn’t sit, drain slowly, or back up. 

Likewise, if you brush your teeth in the bathroom sink and the toothpaste foam sits like an island on a sad sea that takes forever to drain, it’s not good

Neither is a dishwasher that smells like something died in it, a ring around the kitchen sink because the water won’t disappear,  or a toilet that burps or flushes itself (seriously, not good).

All of these things can be a sign of clogs, leaks, blocked vents and more. Problems with your pipes and drains can put enormous pressure on your plumbing as a whole. Stressed pipes can burst or fail, damaging flooring, ceilings and creating costly repairs from water or sewage.

You can maintain that healthy swirl by not putting items down your toilet or drain that create blockages. Place screens on your shower drains to prevent hair from blocking the drains. Don’t flush sanitary items or even “flushable wipes” down your toilets.

Though you might want to take care of unseen clogs quickly, think twice about using chemicals to clear your drains. Many solutions on the market can corrode your pipes and hurt the environment. Garvin’s of Englewood specializes in emergency drain cleaning and we can help. 

Plan your prevention

In addition to loving up your pipes, fittings and drains, you’ll need to apply the “M” word to regularly clearing the main line to your sewer. Why? Ahem…

A toilet haiku

Bubbling and brown
Help: that stuff just won’t go down!
Steel blades create peace

With a bladed machine, Garvin’s clears away roots that can enter your main line, ball up and create obstructions. Regularly clearing away roots can prevent costly, messy backups into your toilet, shower and basement.

How often you need to clear your main line depends on many factors:

  • How many trees grow into your line
  • How fast the roots grow
  • How many people are in your household
  • Weather conditions like drought

A Garvin’s of Englewood technician can examine your lines and recommend a cleaning schedule that fits your property. Most commonly, our customers clean their line every 6-12 months.

Set up a schedule

If you pay a little attention to your pipes, drains and main line, they’ll serve you well for years to come. At Garvin’s, we may not be incredible poets, but we are experts in our field of plumbing. Call us. Together, we can set up plumbing and sewer line maintenance schedules that will keep your plumbing systems running smoothly.

Does hot weather affect your plumbing?

Does hot weather affect your plumbing?

Oh, yes. It does.

Mother Nature’s frigid fingers can cause pipes to burst during our cold winter months in Colorado. But, did you know extreme heat can be a concern too?

Beat the UV

Most of us live at least 5,280 feet above sea level here in our beautiful Centennial State. We wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else, but the altitude and the views come with a price.

The strong UV rays that prompt many of us to slather on sunscreen, or at least slap on a sturdy ball cap to keep from burning to a crisp outside, can damage outdoor fixtures, pipes and fittings too.

What to do? Now that you’re aware, take a look at all of your exterior faucets (hose bibbs) and hoses. Do you see anything worn or leaking?

Maintain your exterior faucets by replacing washers and fittings or call us to do it for you. We can help you repair, maintain or replace your hose bibbs and keep everything in great shape. For more information on hose bibbs, read our last blog.

Replace garden hoses or repair them. Hose repair kits are available at many hardware or home improvement stores. Consider buying a reel or decorative container to store and protect your hose from the elements. Check out this fun blog for several ways to extend the life of your garden hose.

Prepare for guests

After so many months of isolation, it’s time to invite friends and family over for burgers and brats on the grill! A few out-of-town guests might want to stay as well: your sister and her husband, the three kids, Uncle Melvin, Grandma Esther and your best friend from Michigan…

You’re going to welcome them all with open arms, but your plumbing might groan in response!

Before you host a big summer gathering:

  • Replace exterior hoses and repair worn fixtures so that Slip N’ Slide fun doesn’t result in a leaking basement.
  • Call Garvin’s Sewer Service to snake your main line to prevent backups when lots of guests use your bathrooms.
  • Ensure your garbage disposal and dishwasher are working well to avoid backups after festive dinners. If you notice your dishwasher or sink is emptying slowly, call Garvin’s. We specialize in drain cleaning.

Anticipate the expansion

Cold causes pipes to expand, but heat is also an insidious beast. According to plumbing2point0.com, pressure can build up in clogged pipes which can then expand and crack or burst in extreme heat. And we know it gets hot here. The mercury rose to a record-busting 101 degrees Fahrenheit on June 15!

What are some signs that your pipes might already be in trouble?

  • Musty odors or foul smells,
  • Water marks on drywall or ceilings
  • Dripping or other unusual noises in your walls
  • Water that doesn’t smell right or is a weird color
  • Water pressure that goes up and down

If you have any of these issues, don’t ignore them. Call a professional to take a look.

Garvin’s plumbing contractors of Englewood and Denver can help you properly maintain your pipes to prevent leaks and bursting. Consult with us to tailor a plumbing maintenance schedule to safeguard your “Home-Sweet-Home.” Take care of your plumbing year-round to remove the worry that comes with seasonal temperature fluctuations.

Ask for help

We are grateful to have a loyal following. Recent customers say Garvin’s does “a great job for a very good price” and that our service people are “knowledgeable, polite, patient, kind and helpful.” We would love to get to know you and your plumbing. Contact us 24/7 for help with your routine and seasonal plumbing maintenance.

Don’t forget these outdoor plumbing tips as you tip-toe through the tulips

Don’t forget these outdoor plumbing tips as you tip-toe through the tulips

“Those were the best days of my life…” ~Bryan Adams
      Barbecues. Belly flops into the pool. Frisbee golf.

“My love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer have gone.” ~Don Henly.
      Home runs, picnics, fireworks.

“In the summer time when the weather is high, you can reach right up and touch the sky.”  ~(Umm…) Mungo Jerry?
      I know that song! But who sang it? I have no idea… 

Summer brings great tunes and fun times to mind, but some things slip our noggins no matter what.

For instance, have you stopped to consider your pesky hose bibb connections this season? 

We didn’t think so. 

No worries. We’re here to help you recall forgotten rock artists and remember to give a little love to your outdoor plumbing this summer. Here are four handy, warm-weather tips to save you time and money before cold weather hits again:

Examine hose bibb connections

Your hose bibb (sometimes spelled with one “b”) is your outdoor faucet or spigot. Maybe you know that, but not everyone does. Chances are one or more of your bibbs could be leaking this season, and frankly that’s just embarrassing! 

Take a look at your side, back and front outdoor faucet connections to see if you’re wasting precious water or causing damage to your landscaping. A leaky hose bibb can also cause water to run into your basement or between your home’s walls, eroding your foundation. 

If you have an older home, you may have a hose bibb or two that is not frost-free. In Colorado, it’s a great idea to install or have frost-free hose bibs installed to help minimize freezing during our erratic weather. The frost-free bibbs have longer connectors that stay warmer because they are set deeper into your home’s exterior walls. These bibbs also have special valves and siphons that prevent water from backing up into your house and freezing. Check out this resource at familylifeshare to learn more than you ever wanted to know about hose bibbs.

Already know your drippy hose bibb needs repair? We’ve recorded a great do-it-yourself-video to show you how. Want the assurance of expert help? Call Garvin’s for friendly service 24/7.

Check all hoses

Once you’ve checked your outdoor faucets, take a look at your hoses. Did you leave the vegetable garden drip hose in the dirt over the winter? Ice and snow may not have been kind to it. Inspect each hose to ensure it doesn’t leak either at the faucet connection or along the length of the hose. Replace worn out or split hoses to improve efficiency and prevent water damage over the summer season. Examine any add-on garden timers and auxiliary sprinkler heads for wear and tear, and replace timer batteries as well.

Call for inspection

Your sewer line is incredibly attractive. Never been complimented on your sewer line before? We’re not trying to make you blush. It’s just true. Trees adore your sewer line. You see, the “fertilizer” you run through your line each day as well as the moisture from liquid “contributions” make your line incredibly attractive to trees seeking nutrients.

Delicate tree roots can infiltrate the porous concrete of main sewer lines. Once inside, they often create a web or ball that acts as a net to catch all the nifty stuff that runs through your sewer line. Over time that debris builds up and your sewer line can break. 

Summer is a great time to have your sewer line inspected for thirsty roots, obstructions and defects. Garvin’s can inspect your line with a camera on the end of a scope and record the inspection for you to watch in the comfort of your home. Read more about this service

Consider preventative maintenance

Garvin’s sewer service can clean out your lines regularly to prevent sewer line back-ups, breaks and expensive repairs. We clear obstructions by pulling them out of the line or pushing them through to the main city sewer line or septic system. 

We can help you take the worry out of remembering to do this by scheduling it for you. Consider starting planned maintenance this summer and repeating it every 6 to 12 months. Learn more about Garvin’s preventative maintenance service program.

Contact our team

Garvin’s sewer service of Denver and Englewood is here to help you with all of your seasonal plumbing needs. We’re available 24/7 and we don’t charge after-hours rates for our drain and sewer cleaning services. 

You have the right to expect fast, efficient service. Our service is performed by employees who are knowledgeable, polite and neat. We’ll treat you with respect because we treasure establishing long-term relationships with all of our customers. Over time, we hope you’ll feel comfortable relying on us for all of your plumbing needs. Call our friendly team for help or email us for information today.

 

Tips to keep your plumbing fixtures in top condition

Tips to keep your plumbing fixtures in top condition

Nobody likes a plumbing surprise. Surprise retirement or birthday celebrations with cake, yes, but grey water or sewer shocks aren’t fun. To help, we want to let you know what to look for to possibly prevent plumbing excitement.

Sneaky Leaks

Once in a while it’s good to take a peek beneath your sinks to see if moisture is harboring there. Look behind your washing machine and around the base of your dishwasher as well. Have you noticed a slow running or clogged drain? Is there unexplained wetness near a pipe in your basement? That’s not normal. You shouldn’t ignore any of these signs. They mean your sinks, dishwasher or bathtub may be crying out for some tender loving care. Garvin’s can help you keep on top of routine maintenance so that small problems don’t get bigger.

Trembling Toilets

Does the toilet quake when you run the bath? That’s not a good thing. Does your commode make noise and start to run when left by itself? Yeah, that’s not great either. Your noisy toilet might have a slow leak inside or outside that needs attention. You may be wasting precious water and a larger leak could cause damage over time. Garvin’s plumbing contractors of Englewood specialize in complete solutions that can ease your mind and bring peace to your plumbing.

Dyspeptic Disposals

It comes as a great surprise to most people that garbage disposals aren’t really for garbage. Coffee grounds, rice and large quantities of food should not be put down your drain even if you have a disposal. The disposal can help your pipes handle small quantities of food as long as you run plenty of cold water with them. Anything more and your disposal can get indigestion and your pipes can become compacted with food residue over time. You may notice your disposal leaking from underneath your sink, detect an awful smell that won’t go away or observe your sink draining slowly—all signs of an ailing disposal. Get these issues tended to quickly to prevent mold growth or pipe breakage in the future.

Caustic Chemicals

Garvin’s Sewer Service has been handling the yuck of clogged drains since just before the start of World War II. When we started in 1940, Bing Crosby was popular, the average price of a new car was $850 and women wanted to wear nylon stockings! That was a LONG time ago. So, you can trust us when we say you shouldn’t use common harsh chemicals to unblock your clogged kitchen or bathroom sink. Such cleaners are bad for the environment, can harm plumbing and can be dangerous to people too. Instead, it’s better to clean the pipes beneath your sink. Don’t want to do it yourself? Let us remove the residue, built-up hair or grime for you. We have the tools, expertise and the stomachs to face down stubborn clogs, eliminate them and make your pipes run clear again.

Sewer Service Plus

Garvin’s might be best known for sewer service, but we’re also some of the most trusted plumbing contractors in the entire state. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a small leak in your toilet or you’re up to your ankles in water, Garvin’s is ready to take care of all of your plumbing repairs. Call us today: 303-571-5114.

Why clay sewer pipes may cause issues in some homes

Why clay sewer pipes may cause issues in some homes

Grab your swimming suit

We’re going to take a trip in the hot tub time machine! 

What? Ok, we’re referencing the 2010 sci-fi flick where four friends wind up in the past after time travelling in a damaged Jacuzzi. Not an Academy Award-winning flick, but it is fitting for a plumbing company to travel in a hot tub.

We’ll use our own tub to cruise through some famous cities to understand the history of clay pipe before we talk about why these pipes may cause issues in your home.

It will be interesting, we promise. And you’ll get to relax in a hot tub!

A quick trip through time

Stop one, Babylonia: Let’s look over the shoulders of tired archaeologists as they discover the first clay pipe in a small city in what is now the region of Iraq and Syria. They have been laboring to unearth baked clay pipe that snaked through a truly ancient temple constructed in 4000 BCE. Hard to believe pieces of the hardy pipe survived to the early 1900’s to be catalogued and photographed by this team!

Next, let’s blast to the year 2000 BCE to Ephesus (it’s now Turkey). Here, if we take a peek beneath the houses in the rich section of town, we can see hand-formed clay pipes that carry cold and hot running water and sewage. Posh, no hauling from the river! 

Turn up the jets, we’re going to Rome! (Are your fingers wrinkled yet?) Ancient Romans used clay pipe to carry water short distances. In fact, you could fill your water bottle from any modern public water fountain in Rome today and your thirst-quenching quaff likely is being carried by aqueducts constructed in 19 BCE! That’s some infrastructure.

We’re almost done. Let’s take the bubbling tub to the U.S. where savvy engineers in Ohio first made clay pipes by hand in 1849 and then started to mechanize production by the late 1800s. Pipes were made locally because they were very heavy. Eventually, enough railroad systems were built to carry regionally made pipes efficiently throughout the U.S. One such clay pipe was in use for over 150 years in Oceanside, California.

Why so much devotion to clay?

As you can see, clay pipes have been used for a long time around the world. Clay has always been available to be mixed with water, formed into pipes and fired in a wood- or coal-fired kiln to become vitreous or glasslike and impermeable. This process makes the clay pipe sturdy and resistant to chemicals. They can also handle a lot of fluid pressure and the pipes are environmentally friendly. 

The downside of historical pipe

As wonderful as clay pipes might be, they present issues. As we’ve already mentioned, they’re heavy to move. They can crack under pressure. They have to be put together with joints. Tree roots love to grow between those joints, making the pipes break and crumble. Clay pipe can also snap when the ground shifts—especially in Colorado where our soils are laden with ever-expanding bentonite. Material can corrode inside the pipes and cause the area inside to become smaller—the result can be a troublesome backup.

When should clay pipes be replaced?

Sometimes when you call for sewer line cleaning in Denver or Englewood, your Garvin’s technician will discover clay pipe leading into your home. These pipes are most common in homes built before 1980. They can be serviceable or badly damaged. When should you replace your old, clay pipe?

  • Constant backups into a tub or sink
  • Strange smells from your front yard or basement
  • Inspection reveals a sewer pipe is compacted, sagging, or broken beyond repair

How can we help?

Garvin’s provides honest sewer cleaning service and emergency drain cleaning. We’ll thoroughly inspect your line with a video camera snake and provide you with a DVD. We can discuss any issues while viewing the video. If you have a DVD from another company, we can give you an opinion on that too. 

Bottom line: If your line doesn’t need to be replaced, but just needs a good cleaning, we won’t try to sell you a new line. We clean drains, not bank accounts.

If you do need a new line or line repairs, we’ll talk you through it. You can trust our 80 plus years of experience. We most commonly install seamless PVC pipe, or plastic liners so that you won’t have to worry about your sewer line for years to come. 

  • PVC pipes can last up to 100 years and are impervious to sneaky tree roots breaking them apart. 
  • In the right situation, plastic liners can eliminate the need for costly digging and unearthing of pipe. 

Reach out to Garvin’s at 303-571-5114 or contact us online for all your plumbing and drain cleaning needs. Just don’t ask us to fix your hot tub.

Plumber or Plumbing Contractor in Denver?

Plumber or Plumbing Contractor in Denver?

Remember the Yellow Pages? When you needed a plumber, you cracked open ye olde yellow book and hoped for the best. Those days are gone, and that’s actually a good thing. After all, the internet makes it a lot easier to find a plumbing contractor in Denver so you get the right person for the job and not a plain ‘ol plumber. Yes, there’s a difference, and as plumbing contractors serving Denver, Garvin’s Sewer Service knows that better than most.

What a Plumber Does

Anyone who works on plumbing undergoes years of training. Most start off as apprentices, then progress to the journeyman stage. They’re the kinds of people the average person is thinking of when they think “plumber.” 

You call a plumber for a home plumbing service in Denver If you’ve got a clogged drain, a dripping faucet, a leaking toilet, or you need to install something plumbing-adjacent (like a garbage disposal, an on-demand water heater, or a fridge with a water and ice dispenser), you call a plumber. But that still leaves a lot of big jobs on the table.

What Does a Plumbing Contractor Do?

So what makes a plumbing contractor different? Their experience is broader. They can handle all of the same services a typical plumber would provide, but they can handle more specialized services like sewer camera inspection, water jetting for clogged sewer lines, septic service, and much, much more.

Garvin’s Sewer Service falls into this more specialized category. We’ve helped more than our share of Denver homeowners, to be sure. But our experience has also allowed us to cater to a wide range of commercial plumbing services, tackling tough jobs for restaurants, auto repair shops, carwashes, medical and veterinary clinics, and a number of other settings where plumbing (and especially drainage) can get thorny.

Specialty Plumbers

There’s another category of plumbers called specialty plumbers. Their focus is even narrower than ours. Rather than being the professionals, you’d call for a new toilet or a particularly bad drain clog, these plumbers often work on larger-scale commercial and industrial applications, or on items like fire suppression systems, that call for a different skill set. 

Choosing the Right Denver Plumber

So what have we learned? As we see it, there are three key takeaways here.

First, there are a lot of plumbers out there, and that’s a good thing since no matter what your plumbing needs look like, there’s someone waiting to help.

Second, your choice of plumber matters. If you’re looking for a Denver plumber who’s seen pretty much everything, you’ve found it in Garvin’s Sewer Service, since we’re more than just sewers.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s far more preferable to choose a plumber than to try to do these things yourself. More of our business than you might realize has less to do with fixing the initial problem than it does fixing someone else’s attempt to address a drain clog, leaky pipe, or a root incursion. Those repairs often end up more expensive than they’d have been if you’d just called us the first time. So for your plumbing needs, call Garvin’s Sewer Service today!

Common Plumbing Problems When Buying an Older Home

Common Plumbing Problems When Buying an Older Home

Indoor plumbing was invented by the ancient Romans, and when you buy an older home, there are times when you’re convinced your pipes and drains were installed by Julius Caesar himself. Ugly tile or an outdated wallpaper border are the least of your problems. Plumbing that’s outdated, or that has ceased to work properly, can cause you big headaches. So for sewer cleaning service in Englewood, and a host of other plumbing repair services big and small, turn to the plumbing contractors in Englewood you can trust: Garvin’s Sewer Service.

Outdoor Plumbing Issues

Some homeowners are diligent about maintaining their indoor plumbing, only to forget about (and then fall short on) maintaining things outdoors. We can help with that. Sewer cleaning can address clogs that build up over years, or decades, worth of use. If you’ve already had a sewer inspection done, we offer a free second opinion video sewer inspection, too.

Common Indoor Plumbing Problems

Maybe your outdoor lines are safe and sound. What kind of problems might you face in your new home’s indoor plumbing? Grab a cup of coffee (or an aspirin). It’s a long list.

Pipe Replacement

Older homes often use outdated pipes, necessitating water line replacement. While uncommon nowadays, lead pipe still crops up in some older homes. The galvanized pipes that replaced lead were also prone to corrosion and lead to discolored water. Polybutylene pipe had replaced galvanized and was in use up to the ’90s, but it had a problem too: exposed to water for prolonged periods, which the last we checked was the purpose of the plumbing pipe, it tended to break down.

Pipe Clogs

A home that’s fifty years old and still has most of its original plumbing has seen a lot of things go down the drain and the toilet. Some of those things shouldn’t have gone down the sink (starches, cooking grease), so a good drain cleaning can make your drains flow like new. And if you’ve ever had a toddler (or just been an absent-minded adult), you know things get flushed that shouldn’t have, from Matchbox cars to so-called “flushable” wipes and other things we won’t mention. We can help!

Leak Repairs

Pipes have joints that fail, and sometimes the pipes themselves can break or develop dangerous wear. Faucets and fixtures have washers and other parts that wear out. The leaks that result are no joke since they can lead to mold and mildew, structural damage, or belongings lost to water damage. 

Other Common Problems

Things go out of date. They don’t work as well as they used to, or stop working altogether, like a sump pump that’s been neglected in your basement for decades. So give us a call if you need garbage disposal repair or replacement, a new dishwasher pipe, fixture repair or replacement, or nearly any other plumbing fix you can think of!

Plumbing Maintenance in Englewood, Colorado

Speaking of maintenance, we want to help you enjoy your home for many years to come. To that end, we offer plumbing maintenance services to keep your sewer lines free of roots that can cause clogs and serious damage. We’ll set up a plan, remind you ahead of time, and show up right on schedule so you never have to second-guess—and so you spend less over time on repairs. For a wide range of home plumbing needs, turn to a name that Englewood homeowners have trusted for 80 years. Call Garvin’s Sewer Service!

5 Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems

5 Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems

It’s amazing in 2021 to ever imagine life without indoor plumbing. Many of us, especially first-time home buyers, seemed to take plumbing for granted. Owning a home for the first time and noticing things like water pressure and slow drains made us realize just how little we know.

The first time we get a clogged drain, we may run to the store, grab a bottle of the strongest drain cleaning gel we could find and pour it in hoping to avoid the sight of whatever that gross clog is. And we do this with no idea that it could do more harm than good. At the first sign of garbage disposal issues, we might run to the local hardware store and look up videos for how to install it, instead of trying a few quick fix solutions.

Being a homeowner is a lot like being a parent – we learn as you go. Until we start researching ways to be proactive instead of reactive, we may be spending a ton of money, time and energy. With that said, let us save you a headache with 5 tips to prevent plumbing problems before they start.

Clean your drains.

Gavin’s Sewer Service recommends having a professional do a sewer drain cleaning to remove any grease, hair, and/or other items that could be causing it to become backed up.

Fix your faucets.

Did you know according to emergencyplumbersca.com that one drip every two seconds from your faucet or shower head can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water annually? These small drips turn into big leaks fast and not only can waste water but make your bills skyrocket!

Test your water pressure.

If your water pressure isn’t right, it doesn’t have to stay that way! Bad water pressure can put a strain on your pipes as well as be inconvenient. Professionals can help you get your pressure back on track. (Did you know cleaning your shower head can remove the mineral deposits blocking the holes and can help your water pressure as well as keep your water heater running better, for longer?)

Look under your sink.

Often you can see a leak or crack when it’s small and manageable. The big trick to plumbing problems are locating them and fixing them while they’re small. Big problems lead to big leaks and lots of surrounding damage.

Other helpful ways to prevent plumbing issues include making sure the only thing flushed down your toilets is toilet paper and human waste, having your system inspected if you have mature trees on your property, and check your appliances for water leaks.

Questions or concerns you’d like to ask our drain and plumbing experts? Give us a call today at 303-571-5114. Let our 80+ years in the industry help you with your first time homeowner concerns.

Core Values

Garvin’s Sewer Service Core Values: Accountability

At Garvin’s we created a Code of Conduct that includes 6 Core Values. Today we want to explain Accountability and what it means to us.

We define Accountability as:

Holding yourself and others responsible and accountable for actions and activities. We take immediate and appropriate action, and we own our actions start to finish.

Real Life Examples of Accountability

Here’s an example of this core value at work:

Garvin’s Sewer Service has been in business for over 80 years. In those 80 years, we have made mistakes, however we wouldn’t have our longevity if we didn’t make things right to the best of our ability. This is where accountability is best demonstrated, and I’d like to give two examples.

Hold Harmless Clause

As plumbers, we are often called onto jobs where there is existing water damage and breaks. Because of this, we have a hold harmless clause on all our invoices that says we aren’t responsible for pre-existing or unforeseen conditions such as broken pipes, plumbing code violations, or lead piping.

We had one customer who we serviced for nearly ten years and every year we told her that she had galvanized pipe which needed to be replaced. On the eleventh year, when we cleaned the sink line with galvanized pipe, the pipe finally had corroded and caused a leak. She felt we were responsible for the damages. We disagreed.

We felt it was our responsibility to inform the homeowner, year over year, that she needed to replace the pipe, which we did. But the pipes were never replaced. I tried to explain it this way… if you take your car in to have the tires rotated and the mechanic tells you that you need an oil change, and you never do it, you can’t blame the mechanic when the engine seizes simply because they are the ones who rotated your tires.

We own our part and expect others to own theirs. Here’s a second example:

Drain Line Replacement

We recently had a customer who had just bought a home and three months later discovered the sewer line had backed up and filled her crawlspace with sewage – yuck! Before we could do any work, she had to have a restoration company out to mitigate the sewage.

Once that was done, we sent a plumber out to repair and clean the line. Unfortunately, the repair he made wasn’t sufficient and the cap blew off, resulting in another flooding of the crawlspace. The homeowner called us irate (and rightfully so), I listened to her and expressed empathy because I understood how frustrating and devastating plumbing problems can be. We refunded her money, redid the work, and paid the insurance company for the damages we caused.

We were paid to fix the problem, and when we didn’t do it effectively, we owed it. We don’t like to make mistakes, especially when it causes such a heartache and physical damages to a customer. However, when we do, and it is really because of something we did, we hold ourselves accountable and make it right.

If you are looking for a plumbing in Englewood who holds themselves to code of conduct that includes accountability, Garvin’s Sewer Service would like to earn your business.