5 Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems

5 Tips to Prevent Plumbing Problems

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

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

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

Clean your drains.

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

Fix your faucets.

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

Test your water pressure.

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

Look under your sink.

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

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

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

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.

What’s the Best Water Heater?

What’s the Best Water Heater?

Is it time to replace your old water heater? Or maybe you are doing research because you are ready to upgrade? Either way, it’s smart to learn more so you aren’t in a situation where you must make a high-pressure decision or face taking cold showers!

Consider this a Water Heater 101 as we answer some of our customer’s top questions about water heater replacement.

How long does a water heater last?

The quality of the water heater makes a difference in how long it will last. Your water purity also matters as hard water ages your water appliances faster than filtered water. That being said, you can expect your water heater to last 7-14 years. 

How old is my water heater?

To determine the age of your water heater, you will want to check the manufacturer label. This video will give you a clue about where to find it and determine the age.

However, if you notice that your water isn’t staying as hot as it used to, or you are hearing noises or the water smells, it may be time for a service call, regardless of the age of the unit.

What is the best water heater?

The best water heater depends on YOU. There are some brands who are well known because of their commercials. There are also brands that are high quality that you aren’t aware of because they are only available to those of us professionals in the industry.

Your best water heater is based on your budget, how long you plan to be in your house, the size of your household and your water demands. A good plumber will provide you with a few options or give you an estimate based on the needs you have shared with them.

How big of a water heater do I need?

To balance energy efficiency, cost benefits, and water supply needs, you should choose a water heater based on your household demand. If you find you are constantly running out of hot water, that’s a good sign you need a larger heater. (Or, your water heater needs to be serviced because it isn’t running efficiently.)

What about tankless water heaters?

Tankless water heaters are a great option for homeowners who have high demands for hot water on an ongoing basis. There are other considerations as well, such as space, venting, and current configurations, as these are likely to change. These changes can incur additional costs, but there are right times to do it, such as with a new build or remodel, or when the demand just makes sense.

What is an expansion tank?

An expansion tank is part of replacing a water heater that brings it up to current plumbing codes. When water heats up, it creates steam and expands, and when it cools, it reduces. This repetitive expansion and contraction can cause extra pressure on the pipes and fixtures, causing them to crack or explode.

An expansion tank is designed to hold the water that overflows so the additional pressure isn’t put on the system. This helps it last longer and keeps it safer for your family. 

It is cheaper to leave it off – and that’s how some companies “save” you money. In essence, they aren’t following current plumbing code and are leaving your home at risk for a rupture and resulting water damage. For pennies on the dollar, you are being preventative by installing a new expansion tank with your water heater.

Is there a benefit to electric versus gas?

There are different reasons for why someone would choose a gas water heater over an electric one. Efficiency, earth friendliness, and current energy configurations are the primary considerations. Talk to your plumber about your goals, and they can suggest the best water heater for your specific needs.

Can I install a water heater myself?

Technically, you can, but we don’t recommend it. As mentioned, safety is a top priority and given it’s likely been nearly a decade since the water heater was last installed, new plumbing codes are in place that make the unit safer and more efficient. Because we are up to date on this, and each water heater is a bit different, it isn’t the best DIY project. Plus, we handle delivery and disposal, so you don’t have to.

Water heater replacement is something most of our clients aren’t aware we do! Let Garvin’s Sewer Service take care of all your drain and plumbing needs, including water heater repairs and replacement. Give us a call today for a quote or more information and let our 80 years of service work for you in a new way!

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. 

 

Tools To Keep On Hand For Basic Plumbing Repair

Tools To Keep On Hand For Basic Plumbing Repair In Denver

From drain clogs in Englewood to plumbing repair in Denver, Garvin’s Sewer Service is your trusted partner for anything that clogs, leaks, or drips. And for those mavericks amongst our customer base inclined to tackle basic plumbing issues possibly classified as DIY, we’ve given you a head start by listing below some tools to keep on hand for basic plumbing issues.

Ball-Peen Hammer

Used for striking various other plumbing tools such as a chisel for dismantling the tiles, or to restore the basic shape of a simple metallic pipe. The head of a quality ball-peen hammer is resistant to chipping.

Screwdriver

Used to insert or remove a screw, either manually or electrically. The two most common types of screwdrivers are slotted screwdrivers (flat, broad top) and Phillips screwdrivers which are “spiked” at the top.

Adjustable Wrench

Colloquially known as a monkey wrench, an adjustable wrench has a movable jaw that allows it to fit or open a wide variety of bolt heads and nuts.

Channel-Type Pliers

Used to grip the smooth surface of a pipe that needs a tight grip while opening or fitting. Channel-type pliers have a movable handle which permits the jaws to be adjusted for maximum gripping strength. Also, the inward side of the jaws are saw-toothed to prevent slipping.

Needle-Nose Pliers

Aliases include snipe-nose plier, pointy-nose plier, long-nose plier, and pinch-nose plier. What they all have in common are very thin jaws for gripping small objects, i.e. a screw. Needle-nose pliers are also useful for reaching confined areas that other pliers can’t.

Ratchet Wrench Set

Used for tightening or loosening bolts and nuts. A ratchet wrench’s handle has a mechanism that lets you change sockets to work with different-sized bolts or nuts.

Flashlight

Likely the most recognizable product on this list. Super helpful for illuminating the cause of basic problems originating from the darker reaches of a pipe or drain.

Tips For Taking Care Of Your Plumbing Tools

Garvin’s Sewer Service brings more than 80 years of plumbing expertise to homes and businesses in Colorado. So we’re well qualified to say that plumbing repair in Denver goes a lot smoother when you take good care of your plumbing tools, including the ones listed above. For example:

  • Clean tools after every use with a soft fabric cloth
  • After you’ve cleaned off the dirt and dust, dip/spray the cloth with a rust prevention solution for a valuable layer of protection
  • Another rust prevention method is to immediately dry any metal tools that get wet during a repair project
  • Keep toolboxes and cabinets organized and make sure all tools are stored securely

Need A Plumber In Denver? Call Garvin’s Sewer Service

Some plumbing repairs can be remedied by handy homeowners using basic plumbing tools. Other more complex solutions are best left for Garvin’s Sewer Service and our professional plumbers serving Denver. Call us today all your plumbing needs and we’ll deliver a solution that’s fast, professional, and priced right.