5 Toilet Troubles and Their Fixes

5 Toilet Troubles and Their Fixes

Last week we received a few calls about toilet troubles, and I wanted to address some of them here for all of you wondering why you are struggling with recurring issues. There are five toilet troubles, in general, and knowing the culprit will have you clearing up the issue quickly.

Toilet Problem 1: Water won’t go down

If when you flush the water just comes up and then slowly drains back down over some time, you may have a partial clog in the line. Try using a plunger, and if that doesn’t work, give a plumber a call to clear the line further down.

Toilet Problem 2: Toilet backs up frequently

If you notice that you are having to plunge your toilet often, or that the toilet gets clogged frequently, this may be an issue of too much toilet paper. Or, it could be caused by the toilet paper being too thick and not flushing or breaking down well enough to move through the system.

Try using a non-plush style of toilet paper. This is especially true if you also have a low flush toilet. You may also want to try flushing more frequently to help push paper and waste through the line.

Toilet Problem 3: The toilet doesn’t flush everything through/ has a weak flush

If the toilet doesn’t seem to be flushing strong enough to push everything through, it is possible that the inner toilet “guts” aren’t functioning properly. A plumber can come and test the toilet to see what the problem is and make suggestions on a repair or replacement.

Toilet Problem 4: Toilet is wobbling or sits funny

If when you sit down on the toilet, you notice it wobble or is misaligned, it is a fairly easy fix. A plumber or handyman can usually pull up the toilet, readjust it, add a wax ring to help the wobble. Sometimes, however, when the toilet is pulled up, the flooring underneath can have water damage or rot. This may require additional repairs – but it’s a good thing you caught it before it became too dangerous!

Toilet Problem 5: Toilet is leaking

If you notice extra moisture or even puddles of water around the toilet base or tank base, you will want to have that looked at by a plumber to determine where the leak is coming from. You could have a leak in one of the water supply lines, a tank gasket, or in the toilet stub where it connects to the floor. Your plumber can test for a leak and make the suggested repairs quick and easy.

Another note about toilet replacement or repair:

It isn’t necessarily a problem, so I didn’t want to include it in the above list, but sometimes there is a desire to update a toilet. It may be a color, age, or style that no longer has aesthetic appeal, or it could be that a taller, easier-to-use- toilet style is a better fit for an aging parent or person with disability. Plumbers can help make that change as well, so you can have a throne worthy of royalty.

Toilet troubles are never fun to deal with, but are usually a quick and easy fit that shouldn’t be put off. Give Garvin’s Sewer Service a call today to get scheduled for toilet repairs and reduce the chance of water damage.

How to Check if Your Toilet Tank is Leaking

How to Check if Your Toilet Tank is Leaking

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

Performing the Leak Test

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

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

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

What to Do If Your Toilet Tank is Leaking

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

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

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

Why are Plumbers Considered Essential Workforce?

Why are Plumbers Considered Essential Workforce?

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

Plumbers are Essential Reason 1: Uncontrolled Water Flow

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

Plumbers are Essential Reason 2: Sewer Back Ups

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

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

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

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

Other Reasons We Are Essential

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips for Keeping Drains Clear at Hair Salons

Tips for Keeping Drains Clear at Hair Salons

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

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

#1 Catch Hair Before it Reaches the Drain

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

#2 Be Smart About Troublesome Chemicals

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

#3 Flush Your Drains

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

#4 Get Regular Drain Cleanings

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

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

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.

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.

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.