The Dangers of Drain Cleaning

The Dangers of Drain Cleaning

Every once in a while we have customers call us complaining that the drain cleaning service we provided broke their drain line. Because of this, I wanted to give more information about the dangers of drain cleaning to help homeowners, property managers and the like, better understand the process and impacts of drain cleaning.

How is Drain Cleaning Performed?

At Garvin’s Sewer Service, we use a Roto-Rooter(r) machine. This machine consists of a cable with blades on the end. When the machine is plugged into a power source, the technician uses a pedal to control the power as he guides the cable through the pipe.

A Little History of the Drain Cleaning Machine

The Roto-Rooter Franchise developed the machine used for drain-cleaning and it has been used for over 80 years. Garvin’s started as a franchisee of this organization and uses this type of machine still today. On average, we clean 40 drains per day, 365 days a year, and have for over 80 years. We aren’t the only one. Hundreds of thousands of drains are cleaned every year by thousands of drain-cleaning companies across the country.

In addition to this machine, often referred to as a snake or roto-rooter, there is something called a jetter or hyrdojet. This type of drain cleaning machine uses high powered water pressure to blast through clogs.

We believe blades and knives on a cable are the most effective against root intrusion in the sewer line. We also believe these snakes are best at clearing clogs – whether hair, food, scale or toilet paper. We use a jetter for jobs we think it is best for. In our experience, that is grease, core, mud, and sand.

How Does a Drain Line Break During Cleaning?

The blades on the end of the machine have a slight inward bend to them. They are sharp, and are often referred to as knives or blades and do exactly what you’d expect – they cut debris out of the line. These blades spin the circumference of the pipe, and should scrape the edges of the pipe clean.

On a main sewer line, a heavy duty machine is used with 4” blades, which matches the circumference of the sewer line. On inside lines, again the blades match the circumference of the line and range from 1 ½” to 3”. Typically, a smaller machine is used for these lines.

Because the knives spin through the circumference of a pipe, the only way they are able to break a line is:

  • The line is damaged already and the machine catches that bad spot and makes it worse
  • The line is damaged already and the machine scrapes off the buildup that is holding things together
  • The line is improperly plumbed causing the machine to turn back on itself or go the wrong direction

Can a Plumber Break a Drain Line?

Yes, a plumber can break a drain line, but it is not caused by the use of a drain cleaning machine. A sewer snake can get “stuck in a line”, and this can be due to an error by the drain technician.

Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes and even the most experienced drain techs can get a cable stuck. This could happen if they give too much slack, have a old or weak cable, or misgauge the feel on the cable while running it. Remember, when a drain cleaner is running your line, he is doing it blind. He can’t see, he can only feel, smell, and look for clues based on how the water is draining and what he is pulling back.

Why Do Drain Lines Break?

Water is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. It built the Grand Canyon! Of course, the plumbing in your house isn’t thousands of years old, but that doesn’t mean water hasn’t caused corrosion on your pipes. Plus, water isn’t the only substance flowing through your drain lines.

Typically, we see drain lines fail when:

  • They have corroded from age
  • They have corroded from chemicals (use of chemical drain cleaners, water pH, etc.)
  • They have been impacted by root growth
  • They have been impacted by earth settling
  • They have been damaged by equipment such as from boring or trenching

Video sewer scope services from Garvin's Sewer Service

Who is Responsible for Broken Lines?

While there are times that a contractor is responsible for broken lines, you will find most have a Hold Harmless Clause for pre-existing conditions. Many homeowners simply don’t understand how drain cleaning or plumbing works, and therefore don’t understand the importance of preventive maintenance to reduce the chances of broken lines, either exposed through the drain cleaning process, or those that reveal themselves and require an emergency plumber.

Our Hold Harmless Clause states exclusions for our responsibility for damages caused because of pre-existing conditions and these include:

  • Leaking water pipes
  • Broken or damaged drain pipes
  • Plumbing code violations/outdated plumbing
  • Lead piping
  • Cast iron pipes
  • Galvanized pipes
  • Fixture damage such as cracks in toilets, tanks, supply lines or sinks
  • Hidden pipes such as bathtub p-traps and drum traps
  • Electrical lines and outlets – seen or unseen near plumbing

Other Dangers of Drain Cleaning

When a drain is cleaned, there is a chance that pre-existing conditions can be exposed, causing leaking and water damage. If a chemical drain cleaning product is used, such as those sold over the counter, like Drain-o or Liquid Plmbr, those can sit in the line and cause corrosion. High pressure water jetting can cause flooding if the lines are in poor condition.

However, the benefits of cleaning drains are significant. Left untreated, uncleaned drains can:

  • Cause sewage backups that negatively impact property and the health of the home’s occupants
  • The inability to use the plumbing including not having running water
  • Sewage and sanitary issues
  • Complete blockage of the sewer or drain line which requires emergency repairs – failure to do so can make the home uninhabitable

Preventative maintenance is the key!

Preventative maintenance not only keeps roots at bay to prevent bigger problems, but also allows a review of your current plumbing systems to support repairs rather than replacement.

Cleaning is ALWAYS less expensive than replacing the line and can be done in almost all cases of blockages/ clogs. How often preventative maintenance is performed will depend on your unique situation. How often roots get in your line, how many people live in your home, the length of your line, the material your sewer line is made of, the age of your home and plumbing… these all play a part in determining the frequency of cleaning.

For most people, an annual cleaning, or cleaning every other year is sufficient. Our drain techs are experienced in making a recommendation after cleaning your line about the frequency to consider.

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.

 

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.

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!

Water Conservation Tips for Food Service in Englewood, CO

Water Conservation Tips for Food Service in Englewood, CO

For several decades, Garvin’s Sewer Service has been synonymous with professional plumbing and drain cleaning service near Englewood. So it stands to reason that we know a thing or two about sewer systems and water supply in and around Denver – particularly, how important it is to conserve water and increase the overall system’s efficiency. 

The Case for Water Efficiency

In the last decade, the costs of water and wastewater services have increased considerably nationwide, mostly due to the fact that cities have begun moving away from bygone supply systems and towards state-of-the-art solutions. While in the long run this overhaul should provide an excellent return on investment, there are things we can do right now that will benefit the average business’s water bill. Let’s use the food service industry as an example because water usage – especially hot water – is significantly higher here than in other trades. Energy is required to “create” hot water, and that’s something that restaurants use a lot of. Consider water-intensive equipment such as dishwashers, basins, sinks, and dipper wells, which run almost continuously during business hours. Replacing outdated, inefficient foodservice equipment with water-efficient upgrades is one of the biggest steps a food service establishment can take towards increased water efficiency, especially because the investment in new equipment will soon be recouped via lower monthly water bills. 

Another advantage of implementing water-efficiency solutions in the food service industry is increased customer satisfaction and respect. Consumers want to do business with companies dedicated to green initiatives, and water conservation is an area where food service entities can have a massive environmental impact. 

Tips for Running an Efficient Food Service Operation 

  • Upgrade appliances such as dishwashers, ice machines, and steam cookers to extra-efficient models proven to reduce water and energy use. 
  • Inspect systems such as pre-rinse and food disposal, as well as everything boiler-related, i.e. combination ovens, steam kettles, and steam cookers, to identify where water usage can be decreased. Our local plumber serving Englewood is happy to provide some suggestions. 
  • The impact of proper dishwasher prep and loading is oft-overlooked, which is a shame because executing these steps properly can lead to impressive reductions in water usage. Foodservice managers and owners who make a small investment of time and money to train employees in this area will be more than pleased with the results. 
  •  Toilets, bathroom faucets, urinals, and everything else in a lavatory can be upgraded to more water-efficient solutions. In fact, some independently certified models have shown to be almost 20 percent more water-efficient than previous-generation models. 
  • The automatic sensors found on today’s faucets, toilets, and urinals might be small, but they can be a big obstacle to water conservation when not functioning properly. Check these periodically to ensure they’re operating correctly and not needlessly wasting water. 

Start Conserving Water Today

In the foodservice industry, the vast majority of water usage stems from equipment and the processes followed by employees during daily tasks. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to increase efficiencies in both categories. Contact Garvin’s Sewer Service today and let’s talk further about water conservation, and professional drain cleaning near Denver, and much more.

Preparing for “Brown Friday” in Denver

Preparing for “Brown Friday” in Denver

The experienced team of local plumbers at Garvin’s Sewer Service in Englewood has no shortage of work to do around the Denver Metro area. This is especially true on “Brown Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving, when clogged sinks and jammed garbage disposals reach a yearly high. 

Defining Brown Friday

The term “Brown Friday” has become increasingly prevalent in the American social conscious, thanks to several studies showing that emergency plumbing house calls the day after Thanksgiving are the highest of any day of the year. This increase in calls for plumbing repair in Denver is connected to a pair of Turkey Day “phenomenon.” The first is that the huge amount of food consumed by families nationwide creates a record amount of waste — grease, bones, and lots of other stuff that goes from dishes directly into the garbage disposal. It then collects in the disposal’s basin before beginning its slow ooze through kitchen sink pipes. The more grease and scraps, the greater the likelihood of a clog developing. 

The second is that plumbers celebrate Thanksgiving too, and many families prefer to wait a day before calling for help. We’d like to think this is done out of the goodness of their hearts, and that’s mostly true. However, some of the thriftier households put it off to avoid paying a “holiday premium.” At least, that’s what we tell ourselves. At any rate, the result is that our local plumbers get two days’ worth of holiday calls on the same day. 

Tips for Avoiding Your Own Brown Friday

If you want to increase your odds of avoiding your own Brown Friday, check out the following tips. Share them with family and friends, and collectively you might just manage to avoid a brownout. 

  • Bones and fibrous foods (potato peels, corn husks, carrots, onion skins) shouldn’t be put in the garbage disposal. Bones can damage the disposal’s blades, while fibrous scraps tend to wrap around the blades, which can damage the motor. Toss these items in compost or trash instead.
  • Don’t pour grease down the drain. Instead, pour it into a cup/container and stick it in the freezer. Wait for the grease to solidify, and then throw it out (or reuse it). 
  • Keep the water running when feeding the disposal food scraps.
  • Wipe off greasy pans before washing them.
  • If multiple people are showering at your house over the holiday, use a mesh strainer to keep hair from clogging the drain.
  • Avoid flushing wipes, feminine products, and other non-dissolvable items down the toilet.

A quick word about grease, since it’s arguably the biggest contributor to drain clogs, (and it’s not just grease – it’s the combination of grease, liquefied fat, and oil.) Putting this goop down your drain will not only cause problems for your household plumbing, but it also creates problems for your city’s sewage system. So the more vigilant you are about keeping grease and its allies out of your disposal, the better. 

Brown Friday Blues? Contact Garvin’s Sewer Service

Black Friday may be the most popular day after Thanksgiving for deal shoppers, but in the plumbing community, it doesn’t hold a candle to Brown Friday. Try your best to follow the tips provided above, and if you still end up with drain clogs near Englewood this Thanksgiving, rest assured our experienced plumbers will supply a quick, budget-friendly solution. 

 

How To Find The Right Plumber in Denver

How To Find The Right Plumber in Denver

Every homeowner needs an experienced, reliable plumber on speed dial, but hitting the mark takes some legwork. For 80 years, Garvin’s Sewer Service has met the plumbing needs of residents throughout the Denver metro area, and we’re happy to provide some tips for how to find the right plumber.

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Read Online Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews are an excellent resource. A great place to start is the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which has over 100,000 reviews for homeowners to peruse. Many of the plumbers listed here are accredited by the BBB, which gives them a leg up on those who are not. AngiesList.com is another useful resource, but there is a monthly membership fee. In return, AngiesList.com prohibits anonymous reviews, which the site believes improves the accuracy and authenticity of its service.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Even if your insurance company isn’t paying for your leak repairs or sewer cleaning near Englewood, they’re still a viable resource for locating a reputable plumber. Many insurance companies have agreements in place with reputable local contractors covering all areas of home improvement, and it’s quite likely that your insurance company adheres to a thorough vetting process. So not only can you trust that your provider has done its homework, you might even get a discount if you work with a plumber endorsed by the insurer.

Inquire About Licenses/Bonding and Technical Certifications

No doubt it’s important to hire a plumber with extensive experience and state-of-the-art solutions. However, equally important are aspects such as technical certifications, customer service, and safety. The plumber you choose should be licensed and bonded, and its technicians should have to pass background checks and participate in ongoing training. No homeowner should be put in a position where the plumber they hire lacks the required training and certifications, or even worse is a convicted criminal.

Confirm The Scope of Work

Many plumbing contractors serving Denver offer service guarantees on the work they perform. This provides assurance to the homeowner that the job will be completed satisfactorily. It’s a good idea to confirm with the plumber the estimated length of the job. Also, homeowners are well within their right to ask a plumber for a warranty or a guarantee period on the contracted work.

Apples-to-Apples Estimate Comparison

As with any home improvement service, homeowners should solicit quotes from at least three plumbers. But what sometimes gets lost in the shuffle is how important it is for the homeowner to create a clear, concise brief on which the plumbers’ quotes are based. It’s vital that all three plumbers quote the same job so that the homeowner can do a simple apples-to-apples comparison. This also minimizes the chances of a plumber providing a stripped-down quote to appear as the least expensive option. Plus, if one company comes in more expensive than the others, the homeowner can ask the company about the price and understand what (if anything) is different about their offering.

Contact Our Professional Plumbers Today

Thousands of homeowners choose Garvin’s Sewer Service as their go-to emergency plumber serving Englewood (and beyond) for preventive plumbing maintenance. Whatever your needs – drain cleaning, sewer line location, or video sewer scope – contact us today and ask for our patented Speedy Fast® Quote.

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Tips For Keeping Your Restaurant Drains Fresh

Tips For Keeping Your Restaurant Drains Fresh

If you’re running a restaurant you know just how many things there are to keep track of. One thing that you may not be thinking of is your drains, but we’re here to tell you just how important proper drain care is. At Garvin’s Sewer Service, we offer commercial drain cleaning Englewood residents can rely on, and we can help you keep the drains at your restaurant clean too. Here are some tips that can help you take care of your drains and avoid health hazards.

Keep the Grease Traps Clean

This is one of the best ways to keep your drains in top shape. The grease traps are designed to stop certain materials from entering your plumbing system and gumming up the works. The main culprits here are oils and fats, both of which can cause plumbing problems if they’re allowed to progress past your grease traps. Knowing how often your grease traps to be pumped, and when the grease trap line needs to be cleaned is key. Both depend on how much grease you dispose of so find an interval that works well for you.

Use More Natural Solutions

If you do have a minor clog, don’t just reach for a chemical drain cleaner. While they can be effective, the harsh ingredients and compounds they use to break down clogs can end up causing other types of problems. We’re talking about potentially expensive damage here. Instead, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, which work together to tackle grime and grease. You can also try hot water and bleach to clear smells. And, the best of all, these solutions don’t damage the pipes.

Get Rid of Food Scraps

Even small food scraps can cause problems if they go down the drain. Have employees clean off plates thoroughly into a trash can so that you don’t have to worry about this waste causing clogs and drain issues. A little extra time spent on cleanup could save you a headache later.

Install a Drain Cover

A drain cover or grate can keep out large debris, ensuring that your pipes and grease traps stay cleaner. It doesn’t cost too much to install one and it could end up paying for itself over time if you can avoid costly plumbing problems with its assistance.

Run Some Hot Water

Here’s a simple trick. Even if you’re being careful, some oil or grease is likely to get down your drain. If you run hot water down your sink after using it, you can start to liquefy these materials and prevent them from causing a major clog.

Bring in a Pro

If you do encounter a major issue, don’t delay. Talk to the pros at Garvin’s Sewer Service right away! We even offer emergency drain cleaning services, so we can help you if a problem suddenly pops up and you need it fixed quickly. We can often get out to you less than two hours after you make the call, and we don’t even charge extra for emergency service! We’re here for you all day, every day!

The Commercial Drain Cleaner You Can Rely On in Englewood, CO

So if you’re in need of a reliable drain cleaner, we’re ready to help. Contact Garvin’s Sewer Service today and see how easy it can be to properly care for the plumbing at your restaurant, without breaking the bank.