The Most Common Winter Plumbing Issues

When people agree to purchase a home, they also agree to assume all the expenses that come with such an investment, and it certainly does seem like more things go wrong in the dead of winter than at any other time of year, especially when it comes to plumbing. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we field a lot of phone calls during the colder months of the year, and we obviously are happy to help how we can. Still, considering how in-demand a plumbing repair service technician is from November through March, it is worth knowing what may be going wrong with your plumbing so you can keep an eye on it throughout winter.

The following are four of the most common winter plumbing issues our professionals deal with during the colder month:

Frozen Pipes

Far and away the most common problem in the winter months is frozen pipes, which obviously happens when the weather gets so cold that your pipes (and the water therein) freeze. The first thing to do if you feel like this may be the problem is turn off your water at the supply to keep any more water from clogging up and bursting the pipes. After that, it’s best to call a plumbing repair service right away so they can diagnose and correct the problem, which can be significant if left unattended.

Water Line Break

Another side effect of standing water in freezing pipes is the potential for a water line break. When water freezes inside a line, it can cause blockages that can grow and eventually cause major leaks that can be expensive to repair. There are pressure relief valves that can be installed in your water line in certain areas to help make sure these blockages don’t occur, but that typically requires professional help.

A Lack of Hot Water

We also get a lot of phone calls about water heater problems, which happen this time of year because the water being pulled in travels through very cold pipes, meaning it takes longer for that water to heat up. While this itself is more inconvenience than major problem, it is true that water heaters work harder in the winter and that people use more hot water when it’s cold outside, so more problems do occur with these this time of year.

Clogged Drains

Interestingly, we also get more calls for clogged drains during the holidays, likely because people are cooking and hosting parties so much more often than at other times in the year. With more cooking comes more sink and garbage disposal use, and with increased use comes the higher potential for something to go wrong. If and when that does happen, a professional plumber can help clear up the problem and get your drains unclogged for even more holiday cheer.

An Experienced Englewood, Co Plumber

If any of these issues rear their ugly heads in your home this winter, give us a call here at Garvin’s Sewer Service. Our skilled professionals will have you up and running in no time, even if Jack Frost makes it harder than ever to make those repairs!

Did You Hear That? A Homeowner’s Guide to Plumbing Sounds

When you’re sitting in your home, you probably take it for granted that water will flow freely when you turn on a faucet. You may also assume that water will flow almost silently from an open faucet, with the splash of the liquid hitting the basin the only audible sign that water is flowing at all.

While your assumptions may be accurate the vast majority of the time, there may come a time when your plumbing emits other sounds. More specifically, your plumbing may issue audible sounds that indicate there’s a problem that can range from a minor issue to a much bigger problem.

You might not realize it because you can’t see them, but water pipes run within the walls throughout the physical structure of your residence. For this reason, you might hear your plumbing make odd noises even when you’re nowhere near a sink, tub, shower, toilet, spigot or washing machine.

Vibrating or Rattling

One noise that’s commonly heard is vibrating. Your pipes will vibrate at least slightly whenever water passes through them. If you notice some vibrating or rattling, loose pipes might be the cause. If that’s the case, you can tighten the pipes’ mounting straps to better secure your pipes or you can use new straps.

If that doesn’t stop the rattling sound, your water pressure may be too high. Contact your local plumber and ask to have a pressure-reducing valve installed.

Thudding, Shuddering or Banging

Thudding, shuddering or banging sounds are another sign of vibrating pipes. Unfortunately, these sounds are an indicator of a much more serious problem than loose pipes. These sounds are indicative of what’s called the “water hammer” effect. This happens when a fast-closing valve shuts off the flow of water quickly, which produces a sound that resembles a hammer coming into contact with a solid surface.

If you allow these sounds to continue for too long, the hammer effect can cause serious, lasting damage to your plumbing. If the sounds get progressively louder, it means your problem is getting even worse. The moment you hear thudding, shuddering or banging sounds related to your plumbing, get in touch with a professional plumber as soon as you can.

Gurgling

If you hear gurgling when water is flowing down a given drain, it’s probably the result of something blocking the water’s movement. To stop the gurgling, remove the blockage.

If all of your drains gurgle, it’s likely that your drain vents are the culprit. If your drains aren’t vented properly, it’ll cause air bubbles which will then cause your drains to gurgle. To have the appropriate drain vents installed, contact a professional expert.

Screeching or Whining

If you hear screeching or whining when you turn a faucet on, it’s a definite sign that the faucet has a loose or broken part. The simplest way to resolve an issue with a screeching faucet is to replace the faucet.

Our Plumbing Repair Service

Since 1940, Garvin’s Sewer Service has been serving residents and businesses in and around Denver, CO. If you’ve heard a noise that indicates you may have a problem with your plumbing, we can help. Contact Garvin’s Sewer Service to schedule an appointment today.

5 Plumbing Repair Service Tips for Denver Business Owners

Plumbing repair service is on the top of the list for calls business owners don’t want to make. But, commerce is hoping in Denver. Our massive population increase over the past decade may only be greater than the gold rush! While at that time pioneers traveled from the Midwest in search of wealth from gold, today’s transplants come for beautiful views, legal weed, 300 days of sunshine and income opportunities. For many organizations, it means business is booming.

And, with all this commerce, plumbing usage is increasing as well. Here are some tips for keeping your commercial space from needing undesirable plumbing repair service.

Emergency Plumbing Repair Service

The best way to prevent emergency plumbing repair service needs is to do preventive care and maintenance. Having regularly scheduled drain cleaning services will prevent messy and costly sewer line back-ups. While all back-ups can’t be prevented, regular cleanings prevent build up that can lead to clogs and a resulting sewer back up.

Plumbing Repair Service Tip 1: Conduct regularly scheduled main line cleanings

Plumbing system inspections including the kits to test for leaks can also help prevent breaks, bursts and flooding.

Plumbing Repair Service Tip 2: Conduct annual plumbing inspections

General Care and Maintenance

Post signs and have accessible trash receptacles near toilets and drains to prevent excess use. Signage stating that flushing of paper towels, wipes or feminine products in the toilet is prohibited help prevent sewer clogs. Trash cans near hand wipe, paper towel, dog waste, front doors or other like areas prevents drain disposal as well.

Plumbing Repair Service Tip 3: Be proactive in anticipating behaviors

Insulate exposed water lines that could be exposed to freezing. Colorado has erratic weather and a freeze can hit almost any time of year. Be prepared with proper insulation as well as clear drainage routes if a pipe does burst to prevent or reduce damage from flooding.

Plumbing Repair Service Tip 4: Insulate pipes properly and have a flood prevention plan

Food Service Plumbing Issues

Restaurants typically have high levels of plumbing needs due to the volume of food waste they create. Instruct employees on proper disposal, such as using trash cans rather than drains, knowing how and where to dispose of grease and oil, and recognizing when plumbing service is needed and reporting it.

Again, regular maintenance can be of great benefit in food service for floor drains, soda machine lines, bathrooms, mop and prep sinks and more.

Plumbing Repair Service Tip 5: Communicate expectations to staff

Bonus tip: Be sure to have preapproved and pre-established relationships with a 24/hour plumbing repair service provider (or two). Be sure the right people have access to your emergency repair companies available to ensure business continues to move forward as needed, with as little down time as possible. Here’s to your success!

If you are looking for a commercial plumbing repair service provider in Englewood, Denver or the surrounding area, consider Garvin’s Sewer Service. Since 1940, Garvin’s has been helping Denver area restaurants and other businesses resolve their drain and plumbing needs.

Plumbing Repair Service: Do It Yourself Plumbing or Call a Plumber?

It seems to be the way we live today- asking Siri or turning to YouTube for instructions on how to solve everything from how to win at Poker to how to fix plumbing. We have created quite a few videos to support the Do-It-Yourself people out there, but it’s important to know when to call a plumbing repair service.

Do It Yourself Plumbing

DIY Plumbing can include items that don’t require a license in order to make the repairs. These are tasks you can do or can feel comfortable asking your favorite handyman or even helpful neighbor. Follow the links for helpful videos:

  • Unplugging a clogged tub: Tubs can easily clog with hair, and chemical drain clearing products are mostly ineffective, caustic and dangerous. Instead, try this technique to get those clogs out. During your annual sewer line cleaning, ask for them to run any additional drains, such as a tub or sink that seem to clog easily. There is usually a discount and it makes certain the entire length of the line is clear.
  • Flushing a water heater: Sometimes a water heater needs to be flushed to remove sediment that is keeping it from working properly. Flushing it will extend the life of the water heater in these cases. Please note that flushing a water heater is best done by a plumbing repair service when there is any chance of flooding a lower level or a finished space.
  • Clearing a P-trap: Sinks can also clog easily, or very frequently, we can lose objects such as earrings, rings, or even toothpaste caps. Clearing the p-trap can help you resolve the matter, and hopefully save the run-away object.
  • Shutting off your main water supply: In the case of a major leak, it is critical to turn off your water right away to prevent flooding and water waste. If you go out of town and experience a pipe bursting, it is important that anyone watching your home know how to turn it off as well.
  • Relighting your pilot light: Cold showers are awful! Be sure to know how to check your water heater’s pilot light and be able to relight it. If it continues to not stay lit, a call to a plumbing repair service is in order to see what is causing the problem and how to fix it.
  • Resetting your garbage disposal: Sometimes when a garbage disposal stops working, it just needs to be reset. Follow these instructions to reset your garbage disposal. If this doesn’t work, call a professional plumber for them to further assess the problem.

Calling a Plumbing Repair Service

Plumbing Repair Service should always be called in the case of emergencies, flooding, main sewer line back-ups or installation of products that can lead to water damage if installed by someone other than a professional plumber. This could include: faucets, new installations, ice makers, hose bibs and more.

 

Not sure if you can handle it on your own? Give us a call and we are happy to answer your questions!

Top Issues for a Plumbing Repair Service

If you own a home, it is not a matter of IF you will need a plumbing repair service, but WHEN. And, when it comes to plumbing, usually the sooner you get the repair done, the better as unaddressed water leaks can cause big problems.

The most common causes of plumbing related water damage come from:

  • broken or leaking pipes, such as broken hose bibs (outdoor hose spigots), or old pipes that need to be replaced
  • faulty appliances such as broken ice makers or garbage disposals
  • leaking water heaters, faucets or toilets
  • drain back-ups such as washing machine lines, sewer lines, bath tub drain clogs

Luckily, a plumbing repair service can handle all these common problems.

Leaking Pipes

Homes built in the 1960’s typically had galvanize pipes, which corrode over time. Eventually, multiple holes will require them to be replaced.

Hose bibs, or outdoor spigots can freeze and split, causing a serious flooding issue. In both cases, it is important to know how to turn your water off in order to prevent significant water damage until repairs can be made by a licensed plumbing repair service.

Appliance leaks

Ice maker issues are sometimes not discovered for quite some time, especially if the leak is slow enough that the water evaporates daily. Usually a homeowner will discover the problem when they move the fridge to clean and see the damage to floor below.

Garbage disposals can be similar in that homeowners tend to notice a foul odor before they open the cupboard and find it warped due to water damage. A small, inexpensive water alarm purchased from a hardware store can be placed in strategic areas near certain appliances. The alarm gives a shrill sound if it comes in contact with water so a plumbing repair service provider can remedy the unseen leak before the damage grows.

Other Leaks

Sometimes it is hard to tell if a toilet is leaking due to the condensation of moisture in bathrooms. However, if the humidity from a shower is gone and you still notice water around the base of the toilet, you have a leak. You can also test the area’s dryness by using a tissue to wipe around the base- the tissue will easily absorb the water. Toilet leaks can happen at the base, water supply line, or tank.

Water heater leaks can signify the need to replace the heater. Faucet leaks can happen at the aerator, handles, or even underneath the sink. Both should be evaluated by a plumber who can give you suggested solutions.

Clogs

If you flush a toilet or run the washing machine and water backs up, you likely have a clog to resolve. If a plunger doesn’t help, it is best to call a plumbing repair service to clear the drain. Chemical drain-cleaning products can damage your system and are often ineffective. Many times, the clog exists in a different line than the effected one, or is further down the line than a chemical cleaner could reach.

 

Garvin’s Sewer Service has been proving reliable, honest plumbing and sewer services for the Greater Denver and Boulder areas from their Englewood office since 1940. Give them a call with questions, for a quote, or to learn more about preventative maintenance and plumbing repair service at 303-571-5114.