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.

Three Reasons to Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaner | Garvin's Sewer Service, Englewood, CO

Three Reasons to Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaner

When you get a clogged sink or shower drain, the first instinct is often to pull out a bottle of liquid drain cleaner and pour it down the opening to meet that clog head-on. After the recommended waiting time has passed, you’ll flush away the bubbles and hope that whatever was blocking your drain has been removed. It all seems so easy, but here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we’re the first to tell you that using those liquid drain cleaners is rarely the wisest solution. In fact, there are a lot of problems with taking that approach.

While they seem like an inexpensive solution to unclog drains, there are three very important reasons why homeowners should not be using liquid drain cleaners in their sinks and showers.

#1 Drain Cleaners Are Toxic

The simple reality about liquid drain cleaners is that they are made from a combination of abrasive chemicals that have high toxicity levels. While this is true for nearly all liquid drain cleaners, it is especially true for the generic-brand versions, which are less expensive precisely because they take less care in ensuring they are entirely safe to use. Fumes from these chemicals are not safe to inhale and could also irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.

Even worse, that toxicity has a negative impact on the environment. Once they are flushed down your drain, they end up mixing unnatural chemicals with the water as it gets washed away. Even worse, the residue from the bottles may end up in landfills, where they can contaminate soil and nearby water sources.

#2 They Can Damage Your Plumbing Pipes

The same chemical reactions that are working to break up the clog in your sink could also do some serious damage to the drain itself. The main compound in many cleaners is hydrochloric acid, which is infamous for eating into pretty much anything it touches. The more liquid cleaners you use, the more your pipes and drains are exposed to this harmful chemical that could, over time, eat through the pipes and leave you with a much more expensive problem on your hands.

#3 They Don’t Always Work

Perhaps most frustrating of all, these products don’t always do the job they are supposed to do. Sometimes the backup is a result of a bad sewer line or broken pipes, so pouring chemicals onto the problem won’t do a lick of good. If there’s even a small chance that the problem may be bigger than what a liquid cleaner can solve, it’s best to just call in a plumber to approach the issue in the most sensible way.

Trust a Plumbing Professional

Knowing all this, please call Garvin’s Sewer Service the next time you find yourself with a clog in one of your drains. Our professional plumbing repair service will make sure that we get rid of the clog in a way that is safe for the environment, safe for your plumbing, and—perhaps most importantly—truly effective.

Don’t waste any more of your money on liquid drain cleaners. Instead, call the professionals and make sure you unclog your drains the right way.

Warning Signs of a Main Sewer Line Backup

Warning Signs of a Main Sewer Line Backup

In the world of plumbing, the issues that Garvin’s Sewer Service solve all have varying degrees of difficulty. A plugged-up sink or toilet, for example, is typically easy enough to fix through a simple service call but if a backed up or damaged main sewer line is causing the problem, the fix can get significantly more complicated.

Put simply, you need your sewer system to work so waste and water can be taken from your house safely and efficiently. If something is wrong with your sewer line, that waste water is either going to refuse to flush away or may come back in unexpected places. The good news is that the earlier you catch a problem like this, the easier it may be to fix. As with most home repairs, waiting too long is to your detriment.

The following are some of the warning signs that you may have an issue with a sewer main:

#1 Multiple Backed-Up Drains

Usually, the first sign that something is wrong is when you see more than one drain in the home start to back up. All the small drain lines in your house eventually connect to your sewer main, which takes that waste water away from the house. If there’s something wrong with the big pipe that flushes it all away, then the small offshoots that lead to each individual drain will be similarly clogged.

#2 Sewage Backup in Floor Drains

Since your sewer main is underground, the first drains likely to backup would be the ones on the bottom floor. If you’ve got a floor drain in, say, a basement laundry room that starts to back up for no good reason, that could be the first sign that something is wrong with the main line.

#3 Using Water in One Place Causes Backups Elsewhere

You know better than anyone when your house is making sounds it shouldn’t, so when you turn on the bathroom sink and the toilet gurgles, or you flush your toilet and water comes up through the floor drain in your shower, that it’s an obvious sign that something is seriously wrong. These symptoms mean you should call Garvin’s Sewer Service immediately before it gets any worse.

#4 Sewer Cleanout Pipe is Backed Up

The sewer cleanout gives plumbing services access to the sewer main underground and usually is located just outside the home so it can connect with the sewer main that brings waste to the municipal sewer. If sewage is backup up in this vertical pipe, that is yet another sign that a backup is occurring in the sewer main.

Contact Our Sewer & Drain Cleaning Team

Obviously, these symptoms can be problematic for a homeowner because it often keeps you from using the indoor water that is essential to modern living. Most of us don’t have an outhouse and a well to use as a backup if the sewer main goes bad. If you think you need a sewer line cleanout or—in a worst-case scenario—a sewer line replacement, don’t hesitate to reach out to Garvin’s Sewer Service. We specialize in sewer line cleanouts, so if you think you may require our services, remember that these types of things end up much better when handled immediately!

How Do You Know It’s Time for a Sewer Replacement?

Thankfully, modern sewage disposal systems are designed to ensure that we never have to deal with waste the way our ancestors did, but because we’ve grown so used to our sewage systems working flawlessly, the moment a system incurs any sort of damage, we notice it. And it isn’t fun.

There are a few things to look for if you suspect sewer damage, so if you notice any of the following occurring in your home, please contact Garvin’s Sewer Service at your earliest convenience. We will be able to diagnose the issue and undertake whatever sewer replacement or repair may be necessary.

#1 Sewage Backups or Blockages

If your toilets are experiencing clogs or backflow of any sort on a consistent basis, there is a chance that the problem is with the sewer or drain rather than the commode itself. The same could be true for your sinks or bathtubs, so keep an eye out for apparent blockages, and call your plumber to have a closer look.

#2 Slow Drain

One sign of a blockage is slow drains, which could admittedly indicate something much less serious than a sewer issue, but if it’s all the drains and toilets in a house that seems to be draining slowly, the chances of the problem being sewer-related rise exponentially.

#3 Unpleasant Odors

If your sewer system is performing the way it should, you should not smell anything foul in or around your home. If you notice the smell of anything even remotely like a sewer inside or even outside of your home, there’s a chance there’s a problem somewhere you can’t see.

#4 Standing Water in Your Lawn

Even without the odor, standing water in your lawn could indicate a leak in a sewer line somewhere underneath the grass in your yard. There should not be soggy or raised patches of earth in your lawn. If there is, it’s possible the sewer line is the issue.

#5 Extra Green Grass

By the same token, extra water and the extra nutrients found in the surprise “fertilizer” working its way into your soil can help grass grow fuller, greener, and more lush—but only in patches. If you notice these patches in your yard where they haven’t been in the past, it’s worth calling your plumber to have a look at your sewer line.

#6 Septic Pooling

The worst symptom of potential sewer problems is septic pooling, which means it’s not standing water in your yard, but standing septic waste. That means a broken main line or septic tank, and on top of being disgusting, it also means you’ve got a big problem somewhere underground that only a professional plumber can fix.

When It’s Time to Contact a Professional

Garvin’s will give an honest assessment of your sewer line, cleaning it first to determine the severity of the issue, offering a camera service to pinpoint the problem area, and offering sewer repair/replacement in the cases where that is the best solution. Unlike other companies, sewer replacement isn’t our first step – in fact, we have saved Denver homeowners tens of thousands of dollars a year by cleaning and maintaining their sewer lines rather than replacing them.

Drain cleaning services from Garvin's Sewer Service Englewood & Denver CO

Five Reasons Not to Try Do-It-Yourself Drain Cleaning

When a drain gets severely clogged, the first instinct should be to call a professional plumbing service to help clear up the issue, but we all know that isn’t necessarily where many people head first. No, some folks would rather try dealing with the clog themselves in an attempt to save money, but here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we have seen many nightmare scenarios that have resulted in much bigger and more expensive problems.

For a number of reasons, it is not always a good idea to take the DIY approach to cleaning out a clogged drain.

#1 Liquid Drain Cleaners Aren’t Always the Best Option

There are so many reasons that professional plumbers do not recommend the use of liquid drain cleaners, not the least of which is their overall toxicity, which is awful for the environment. From a more local viewpoint, however, these cleaners can actually cause damage to your plumbing pipes thanks to the corrosive acids that work to unblock those clogs. A professional plumber with professional tools won’t cause these same problems.

#2 The Problem Might Be Bigger Than You Think

And in terms of problems, a do-it-yourself enthusiast can’t possibly have any idea of the scope of the problem is lying beneath their sink. Without knowing the exact cause of the clog, it can be rather challenging to know how to approach fixing it. Grime buildup and solid masses are too much for a DIYer to do themselves, which is why bigger problems need careful consideration and professional help.

#3 You Could Risk Further Damage (and Cost!)

Without knowing the ins and outs of professional pipe maintenance and cleaning, there is a fair chance that you could actually cause even more harm to your pipes than the issue at hand. In an attempt to save money, you could actually create an even pricier problem that could have been avoided entirely had a pro been contacted in the first place.

#4 DIY Is a Big Time Investment

Calling a professional allows homeowners to carry on with their lives without having to invest the better part of a day (or longer) figuring out how to approach a do-it-yourself project that may or may not end the way they want it to. Since DIY is such a big time investment, why not just pay someone to do that work for you?

#5 Professional Techniques & Equipment Yield Professional Results

The professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service flat-out have access to professional tools and techniques that amateurs do not, which means we can do things the way they were meant to be done. Remember, it’s not just about finishing the project, but doing it in a way that holds up over time so other problems don’t follow at some random time in the future.

If you find yourself in need of a professional drain cleaning service, give us a call here Garvin’s Sewer Service. We will be happy to help clear up your plumbing issues in a way that is efficient, affordable, and backed by a professional guarantee. Pros are pros for a reason. Don’t take the risk of fixing a drain yourself when better trained people are happy to make sure the job gets done the right way.

The Most Common Spring Plumbing Issues, Garvin's Sewer Service, Denver, CO

The Most Common Spring Plumbing Issues

While winter brings more than its fair share of plumbing problems, the spring can be just as problematic, especially at the outset when warmer weather reveals the havoc winter wreaked, and occasional cold snips following a few warm days cause new problems of their own.

Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we want our customers to be aware of what could be going wrong with their plumbing once spring comes so they can recognize the problems quickly and get a professional to their property to get things back up and running the way they should.

The following are the most common spring plumbing problems:

#1 Clogged Outdoor Drains

Ideally, homeowners would have taken care of fallen leaves, sticks, and other blockages in their gutters and outdoor drains before winter ever hit in the first place, but if that wasn’t the case, all the winter precipitation may have packed all that organic debris even tighter, making for quite a headache come spring. These types of blockages can send water from spring rains into unexpected places, which can create significant drainage issues. Sometimes, the obstruction is so significant it requires the assistance of a professional to correct.

Garvin’s clears drainage issues with outdoor drains such as French drains, trench drains, sand traps and more (both commercial and residential).

#2 Leaky Pipes

It is possible for pipes to develop leaks over the course of winter that don’t necessarily show themselves until spring. Pipe materials shrink in freezing temperatures, creating cracks that can temporarily be filled by frozen water. When that ice melts, however, the leaks become apparent, perhaps causing water damage and affecting water pressure in your home. If you think this may be something you’re experiencing this spring, call Garvin’s Sewer Service to fix those leaky pipes.

#3 Line Obstructions

With spring comes new life, which usually is a good thing—except when plant roots split main and sewer lines, causing the sorts of obstructions that are frustrating for homeowners that need those lines clear to function properly. As trees leave their dormant stage, roots spread out and work themselves into vulnerable pipes, causing poor water pressure and slow drainage.

#4 Poor Drainage

That poor drainage can come as a result of an obstructed main line, but there are other reasons why your fixtures may be draining slowly by the time spring rolls around. Winter is a time filled with big holiday meals and visiting house guests, which can mean all sorts of extra foreign items going down your drains and causing clogs that aren’t common at other times of year. Because these types of obstructions often are out of reach for most customers, a professional with professional instruments is the best way to correct the problem.

Schedule a Service Appointment

If you experience any of these issues by the time spring rolls around, contact the professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service to come have a look. Your plumbing repair service should be a quick and easy one, but even if the job is bigger, we can help make the required repairs to get you water running and behaving the way it did before winter cold and spring growth did their damage.

What to Do If You Have a Burst Pipe

What to Do If You Have a Burst Pipe

There are few nightmarish homeowner situations worse than a burst pipe. For starters, many people don’t have the first idea what to do when this happens, but the mess alone is about as frustrating as house damages can get. The professionals at Garvin’s Sewer Service obviously can help, but there are a few things our customers can do while they wait for the professionals to arrive.

If you should experience a burst pipe, follow these tips to help get your home back in working (dry) order.

Step #1: Turn Off the Water

As is the case any time there is water behaving in ways it should not throughout your house, the first step always is to turn off the water. Whatever damage has been done, you can at least minimize any further problems by stopping the water from flowing. To do this, you’ll need to find your water main and turn the lever so it’s perpendicular to the pipe. Once it’s off, you’ll need to drain the pipes, and you can do that by running all the faucets in your house until they go dry. When there is no more running tap water, the leak should stop.

Step #2: Find the Source of the Damage

After you’ve shut off the water, you’ll want to find the source of the damage to assess exactly how big a problem you’ve got. A major water pipe, for example, is a much bigger problem than a single pipe under a sink.

Step #3: Call a Plumber

Your next step will be to make sure you get a professional to your house as soon as possible to begin the repair process. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we specialize in emergency drain cleaning service and ruptured pipes, so if you want to make sure the water is truly stopped and return function to your sinks, showers, and toilets, you’ll need to call us as soon as possible so we can fix the problem and get things functional again.

Step #4: Clean Up What You Can

While you wait for our professionals to show up, you can begin cleaning up whatever water you can. Sometimes, these jobs are too big for a single person to even know where to begin, but if you can use buckets, mops, and towels to clean up some of the mess, you absolutely should. Water damage can easily lead to mold, and the sooner you clean it up, the more likely you are to avoid the worst of that.

Step #5: Consider Hiring a Drying Crew

Sometimes, it’s in your best interest to hire a professional drying crew. They can minimize the formation of mold and get your furniture up on blocks so everything can dry. There may be other repairs in the future, including replacing flooring or drywall, but a drying service can salvage what they can before making those expensive decisions.

It is not ideal to have a pipe burst but remember that Garvin’s Sewer Service can help if this should happen. Never hesitate to call us if this problem arises. We even have a call line for off-hours emergencies should something like this happen in the middle of the night. Either way, we are the plumbing professionals that can help get your pipes fixed and your water working normally again.

Preventing Clogged Drains by Changing Daily Habits

Preventing Clogged Drains by Changing Daily Habits

Nobody likes a clogged drain, not only because they can be pretty disgusting to clean out but also because in the wrong situation, they can stop some of the primary functions of your home and put a lot of water on your floor. Knowing how much people dislike these types of clogs, then, it’s a wonder that more people do not change some of their daily habits when those very habits are the reason clogs are forming in the first place.

Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we are happy to unclog a drain or provide any sort of drain cleaning service, but we also encourage our customers to shift a few daily habits. Here’s what we suggest to keep your drains clearer moving forward:

#1 Avoid Letting Food Scraps Go Down the Drain

Obviously, garbage disposals can handle some food, but if your drain doesn’t have a disposal, do not force food scraps down drains they were not intended to accommodate. Dump your table scraps in the garbage whenever possible to avoid food-related clogs in your kitchen sink.

#2 Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain

Another common mistake people make in their kitchens centers around grease. While it may be easier to just dump used cooking oil or old hamburger grease down the drain, this can cause major clogs and buildup over time. Instead, use an old jar or can to dump grease and throw it away in the trash.

#3 Clean Drain Stoppers in Bathroom

There really is no stopping hair and dirt from getting stuck inside of certain types of drain stoppers, so make it a habit to clean out those stoppers regularly. The more often you do it, the less likely it will be that the hair will build up so thick that it will clog your drain in a way that’s not so easy to clean out.

#4 Other Than Toilet Paper, Don’t Flush Paper Products

Put simply, don’t use your toilet as a trash can. Flushing toilet paper obviously is fine, but flushing other paper products, feminine products, or just trash, in general, can be the sort of thing that gets stuck in the toilet drain. Of all the back-ups that can occur, a clogged toilet may be the least pleasant to clean.

#5 Consider Using Drain Screens

One simple solution to a lot of these problems is to switch out the types of drains you’re using in the first place. Kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, showers, and bathtubs all can integrate drain screens to capture debris long before it makes its way into your drains. Stopping the problem at the source is the best and easiest option.

Contact a Trusted Englewood, CO Plumber

If you and your family are able to change just these few habits, there is a very good chance that you will not deal with the same types of drain clogs that have been plaguing your home for years. Of course, if you ever do bump into a drain issue that you can’t take care of yourself, never hesitate to reach out to Garvin’s Sewer Service. We’ll get everything back up and running in no time.